The Children's Cancer Network has developed an interactive program for schools to help children understand what their cancer-stricken classmates are going through.

When the parents of a 5-year-old girl currently in treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia readied their daughter for kindergarten at Bright Beginnings School in Chandler, they were understandably concerned how she would be perceived and received by her peers.

The family’s trepidation troubled their second-grade daughter, Paige, and they wondered how she, too, would handle questions about her sibling’s cancer.

Enter H.O.P.E. – an interactive school program developed by the Children’s Cancer Network, a nonprofit based in Chandler and founded in 2005 by Jeff and Patti Luttrell whose son, now 29, was diagnosed in 1993 with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

He was 5 when he was initially diagnosed. Growing up, he overcame other bouts of various cancers until age 25.

More than two decades after the first diagnosis, Patti Luttrell’s voice breaks when she speaks of the experience, one that enables her empathy and concern for cancer patients, their siblings and their parents all the more authentic.

“As you can imagine, when you first hear those words, ‘Your child has cancer,’ your whole world turns upside down,” she said.

Helping schoolchildren better understand what cancer is, and is not, is the goal of the H.O.P.E. (Honoring Our Peers Everyday) program.

“Cancer is a scary word, and when you throw in childhood cancer, its even scarier,” said Sharon Wozny, program specialist at Children’s Cancer Network who oversees the in-school programs that since June 2016 have reached more than 3,100 schoolchildren statewide.

The 55-minute age-appropriate interactive program, which includes two specially created videos, was presented at both kindergarten and second-grade classrooms this year at Bright Beginnings because the parents of the leukemia patient heard about it from their interaction with Children’s Cancer Network.

“With Gwen returning to school after a year off due to intense treatment, I wanted to present something to help ease the transition back for everyone,” said the mother, adding:

“I was concerned about how Gwen’s peers would perceive her and treat her. I didn’t want her to be bullied or anxious about coming back with little or no hair or having other side effects from ongoing chemo. I didn’t want the other kids to be afraid to play with her.”

She said she also wanted the students to realize the importance of personal hygiene “and keeping germs at bay.”

“So, I worked with the school, and they agreed to have the H.O.P.E. presentation,” she said.

The two videos and PowerPoint sessions delivered between the showings help educate children and remind them their cancer patient peers are just kids like themselves – only going through some trying times that sometimes require particular cautions.

Gwen’s mother, who requested thier surname not be used, commented that the first, cartoon-like video was especially relevant to the children and “didn’t focus on the negatives.”

“H.O.P.E. was presented to the Kindergarten and second-grade classes. I attended both sessions, and while they were similar, each was tailored specifically for the appropriate age level,” she said.

“I was really pleased with the program, and have heard back from parents that they appreciated it, too,” she added. “They learned you can’t catch cancer, and that the returning child is still themselves, even if they look a little different, tire easily or have shorter hair.”

There are two videos used by H.O.P.E. for all ages: the animated one, and another profiling three pediatric cancer survivors, ages 8, 12 and 18 years, who candidly speak about their experiences transitioning back to school.

“The first video is a quick draw teaching the facts of cancer in a way that is fun and easy to understand,” said said Wozny, who retired in 2013 after 30 years experience at Mesa Public School’s Taft Elementary.

The children in the second video express why they find cancer “the worst,” including being too tired to play or hang out with friends, how a simple cold – something others take in stride – can put them back in the hospital.

It also teaches how children endure the teasing or stares when their hair is gone or their faces are puffed up by medication.

“Their mantra is ‘I’m still me! Don’t forget about me! I still want to do what I used to!’” said Wozny. “I find all these children to be amazing. They’re warriors. They battle every day.”

Following her retirement, Wozny began volunteering with Children’s Cancer Network and the American Cancer society until she was hired part-time as a CCN program specialist.

The skills developed in her three decades of teaching now infuse her work as she presents the in-school programs.

“The H.O.P.E program has three components – education, compassion and action,” said Wozny, who was one of the creators of the H.O.P.E. program, which received a grant from Fiesta Bowl Charities.

“This program is there to help cancer survivors and their siblings as they transition back to school. It teaches facts, and helps dispel myths,” Wozny said, adding:

“Some children may worry its contagious. Others may have questions of their classmates like, ‘Why is your face so fat?’ after treatments, or ‘Is your cancer gone?’ or ‘Will your hair grow back?’. These are what we address in our classroom and school assembly talks and in our videos. Underlying it all are messages of empathy, kindness and compassion.”

After working with CCN for three years, Wozny penned a book that helps siblings manage the range of emotions they may experience during the cancer experience.

“Jamie’s Journey: Cancer from the Voice of a Sibling” follows 13-year-old Jamie after the diagnosis of cancer in her 10-year-old sister.

It also addresses the confusion, worry and jealousy of the time parents spend with a stricken sibling.

Information on the book, and the author, can be found at

For more information on the H.O.P.E. program, or to schedule a school visit, contact Wozny at 480-398-1564 or 480-703-6204. She can also be reached at


(55) comments


You should utilize your school's current prosperity and correspondence rules and assets as you provide support. Help In Essays


You should use your school's present flourishing and correspondence standards and resources as you offer help. Assignment Writing Services


If you would like to make a different right away, there are many organizations that support children with cancer. Cheap Assignment Writing Services and One charity you may want to check out is the International Society for Children with Cancer. They have some great ways to get involved and raise money for children with cancer.


Never under estimate anything in this world and specially diseases, ahwatukee team took an initiative of spreading awareness regarding cancer in your children which help them in future and they'll definitely avoid the things which are the reason of getting severe diseases like HIV, Cancer and Hepatitis..
Write my Assignment


Awareness regarding diseases is really necessary as because of pollution several new diseases are born and many peoples are not aware of it... So we pay for dissertation writers are trying to spread this issue as much as possible on our own....


I love your work because you doing great job to kids learned you can't get disease, and that the returning tyke is still themselves, regardless of whether they look somewhat changed, tire effectively or have shorter hair. Essay Writing Help.


On the off chance that you might want to make an alternate immediately, there are numerous associations that help youngsters with a tumor. Do my paper what’s more, one philanthropy you might need to look at is the International Society for Children with Cancer.


Last day me and my friends read about some content about dangerous illness that directly hit to anyone’s life there get this site’s link really I like it, but mostly foundation just try to earn money for getting more admission and does not care about education’s management and course that is good or not to the learner even numerous students prefer to start online universities in Abu Dhabi or any other country for completing higher study so that to grow in short time rather than traditional institute demand high fee and are not taught this course that is important to them.


Nice blog, the article you have shared is good.This article is very useful. My friend suggest me to use this blog.Engineering Institute in PunjabFashion designing college in chandigarh and mohali


Awareness regarding diseases is really necessary as because of pollution several new diseases are born and many peoples are not aware of it... So we pay for dissertation writers are trying to spread this issue as much as possible on our own gift card


I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. I really enjoyed reading this post. big fan, thank you!
- slope


Apple products are revered for its quality, precision and great design. SRSG started its operations as Apple technology partners in the year 1997.
Apple authorized service center delhi and
Audio mixer dealers and
ipad dealers in Delhi and
Apple iphone 7 dealers in mumbai and
FM Channel License and


DPS are committed to provide our students with a sound knowledge base with emphasis on building strong fundamentals in the principles of education, moral values and strong character and concrete the same by the way of continuous training with psychological methods.
Best School in rajasthan and CBSE Boarding School in NCR and Admission in CBSE School Rajasthan and Top 10 CBSE school in Rajasthan


The best wine fridge out of hundreds of models. Don't buy a wine cooler before reading these reviews.

muneer ahmed

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to start my own BlogEngine blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings rapidly. Your write up is a fine example of it. Miami Car Equity Loans

muneer ahmed

You guardians do an astounding web diary, and have some unfathomable substance. Continue doing extraordinary. reading this article

muneer ahmed

An interesting dialogue is price comment. I feel that it is best to write more on this matter, it may not be a taboo topic however usually individuals are not enough to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers. Commercial Real Estate Loans

muneer ahmed

I essentially discovered your site page and expected that would state that I have truly respected the experience of looking on the web diary sections. Auto Equity Loans Florida

muneer ahmed

Thanks for the post and great tips..even I also think that hard work is the most important aspect of getting success تحصیل پزشکی در انگلستان


We also share some information about our business Buy Law Assignment Help The leading assignment help UK firm offers state of the art services to its clients with a promise of delivering all the required work well within the deadline.


I personally like your post, you have shared good article. It will help me in great deal. Matlab Homework Help Amazing article thanks or sharing..


An amazing story, another in your cool blog, thanks for writing such notes 192.168.O.1

muneer ahmed

Extremely pleasant article, I appreciated perusing your post, exceptionally decent share, I need to twit this to my adherents. Much appreciated!.  free online movies

muneer ahmed

Extremely pleasant article, I appreciated perusing your post, exceptionally decent share, I need to twit this to my adherents. Much appreciated!.  Kelby

muneer ahmed

Really your blog is very interesting.... it contains great and unique information. I enjoyed to visiting your blog. Its just amazing.... Thanks very much. mon site voyance

muneer ahmed

I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked your site to check out the new stuff you post. click here

muneer ahmed

I have used a lot of juicers in the past and I created this blog to help juice lovers make the right decision in choosing the type of juicer that best fit their needs. There are several good masticating juicers to choose from.  hoodie singapore by printinfinito



muneer ahmed

Great Information,it has lot for stuff which is informative.I will share the post with my friends... stream TV

muneer ahmed

I felt exceptionally glad while perusing this site. This was truly exceptionally enlightening site for me. I truly preferred it. This was truly a sincere post. Much obliged!.  yts

muneer ahmed

I discovered this is an instructive and fascinating post so i suspect as much it is extremely valuable and proficient. I might want to thank you for the endeavors you have made in composing this article. آموزش کتیا

muneer ahmed

Thanks for sharing this information. I really like your blog post very much. You have really shared a informative and interesting blog post with people.. learn more

Edwan John

I’m really impressed with your article, such great & usefull knowledge you mentioned here Finance Assignments Help Online

muneer ahmed

I think this is a better than average article. You make this data intriguing and locks in. You give perusers a considerable measure to consider and I welcome that sort of composing. e liquid wholesale


You should use your school's present flourishing and correspondence standards and resources as you offer help. Assignment Writing Services

muneer ahmed

We are truly thankful for your blog entry. You will discover a great deal of methodologies in the wake of going to your post. I was precisely scanning for. A debt of gratitude is in order for such post and please keep it up.  mothers day 2018 uk

muneer ahmed

You have done a great job on this article. It’s very readable and highly intelligent. You have even managed to make it understandable and easy to read. You have some real writing talent. Thank you.  بهترین وکیل چک

muneer ahmed

I was perusing your article and thought about whether you had considered making a digital book on this subject. You"re composing would offer it quick. You have a considerable measure of composing ability. مهاجرت به انگلستان

muneer ahmed

This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for sharing this great article! That is very interesting Smile I love reading and I am always searching for informative information like this! booklet design

muneer ahmed

Your work here on this blog has been top notch from day 1. You've been continously providing amazing articles for us all to read and I just hope that you keep it going on in the future as well. Cheers! booklet design


Thanks for sharing.I hope you continue to have such quality articles to share with everyone! I believe there will be many people who share my views when they read this article from you.
- impossible game


[smile] I love to see this kind of brilliant informative post. Call Girls

Ruben Wilson

I love this post because of this article is unique, I like it Star Lord Jacket


I found so many good articles in your blog, especially its discussion. From the tons of comments on your articles! Keep up the good work. schwimmbrillen test


This is a good post. This post gives truly quality information. I’m definitely going to look into it.
$1 windows Hosting On my site you can get free web hosting package here you only need to pay $12 for one-year hosting.

Mayank Aggarwal

This is really very informative post. I really appreciate your work. This is really very useful post anker promo code 2018 I this that everyone should know about this information. This is very big problem (Cancer). Thanks for sharing this great article with us.


AMCAP fund is a small-sized yet powerful video capture application that is compatible with Microsoft DirectShow.


fiat sport cars is the most powerful four-cylinder engine in its class


Its totally a great way of explaining any new


pakistan news latest news and breaking news about Pakistan, world, sports, cricket, business, entertainment, weather, education, lifestyle; opinion.


It is truly great that at early age kids must already understand sickness and how to know or learn the early detection on them.


The most interesting text on this interesting topic that can be found on the net.
The article was up to the point and described the information very effectively.
Great information dear, keep up the good work. I'm your regular reader from now. :)
Thanks to blog author for wonderful and informative post.
Read How to Remove Virus

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.