Red Deer is rallying around dance teacher Jody Liptak.
Liptak was diagnosed with breast cancer in October and had a second surgery in late January before undergoing radiation.
Known as “Miss Jody” by many in the dance community, Liptak has been a dance instructor for more than 30 years, most of which were at the Dance Magic Studio in Red Deer.
A GoFundMe page that was started on Jan. 5 has already raised more than $11,000 for Liptak.
“If anyone has ever observed Miss Jody with her students, it is apparent that her students are like her children. Her eyes sparkle, and she has a huge smile on her face – even when things are not going well. She turns any difficult situation into a positive one with grace and care,” read part of the post on the GoFundMe page by Dianne Rumohr.
“Miss Jody makes a positive impression on every life because she sees the light and love in everyone. She makes all of her students feel seen, heard and valued. She is always positive, encouraging and supportive.
“Through her passion for teaching, commitment to relationships and connections with others she has a positive impact on people’s lives and has made deep, meaningful impressions on those she comes into contact with.”
Liptak is also getting some support from one of her pupils, 12-year-old Kaitlyn Rumohr. Kaitlyn has worked with Miss Jody for the last six years and knew almost immediately she wanted to do something to help.
You've got this Miss Jody! We love you and we are all rooting for you. We'll be thinking of and praying for you today; Cancer definitely picked the wrong girl!
She created black bracelets with pink writing that say “Team Miss Jody” and “Cancer picked the wrong girl”. Kaitlyn said since they started making the bracelets, which cost $5, they’ve sold more than 400.
“It’s been amazing, we had no idea that this many people would be interested in helping her,” she said.
For Kaitlyn, what makes Miss Jody special was the way she makes her students feel and the extent she goes, to help out.
“We’ve been dancing together for six years and she always pushes us and always makes sure we’re working hard and always tells us to be our best,” Kaitlyn said.
“Gives us great corrections and is always there for us when we need help. We thought that we should be doing something when she needs help too.”
Today the Dance Magic community rallied together in support of our dear Miss Jody. So much love and SO much support was…
Dianne added in the GoFundMe post that Liptak is beloved by the dance community but rarely asks for help. The GoFundMe is a way to show how much she has meant to so many people.
“We have reassured her that there are so many people that want to contribute to her wellness – because we want a healthy, cancer-free Miss Jody back in our community working her magic and doing what she loves,” she wrote.
For those interested in purchasing the bracelets, contact Dianne Rumohr on Facebook. To donate to the GoFundMe page, head to www.gofundme.com/f/miss-jodys-breast-cancer-journey.