In 1993, Jenny Luttrell's younger brother, Jeff, was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 5 years old. He received many rounds of chemotherapy, radiation and finally a bone marrow transplant over the next 7 years. One night when Jenny was visiting her brother in the hospital during his bone marrow transplant, the little girl in the next room passed away. Jenny realized the little girl's family did not have enough money for gas to get home to Phoenix. Jenny, a high school freshman at the time was shocked to find this out. It did not seem fair that a family grieving for the loss of their daughter also had to worry about finding money to get home to Phoenix. Jenny's vision of Children's Cancer Network was born that day.
She decided to organize a fashion show featuring children dealing with cancer and their siblings. The event’s goal was to raise money to contribute to the emergency fund for families undergoing bone marrow transplants. The first fashion show, silent auction and luncheon was held in 2004 and was both fun and successful. Funds raised were donated to the Pediatric Bone Marrow Emergency Funds at Phoenix Children's Hospital and University Medical Center. After the event, a family decision was made to build on its success by forming a nonprofit organization with a mission to provide financial, psychosocial and educational support to families fighting childhood cancer.
Over the past three years, this has become an annual event, steadily growing in size of attendees and the amount of dollars raised.
Jenny currently attends the University of San Diego and remains actively involved in her fundraiser. In addition to her volunteer work with the Children's Cancer Network, she is Vice President of Community Services at San Diego University where she organizes five sorority houses to participate in Walk of Hope Breast Cancer. This summer when she is home from college she has accepted an internship at the Phoenix Children's Hospital.