Story & photo by Brenda Vanderbur
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness month, a cause that is near and dear to this writer’s heart, so our Neighbor Next Door honor goes to Lisa Coonrod.
Lisa cheerfully volunteers two afternoons every week at Children’s Cancer Network.
Fortunately, she has not had personal experience with childhood cancer, but that was not the case with her former neighbors, the Luttrells.
The Luttrells launched CCN 13 years ago after their 5-year-old son was diagnosed with leukemia, which is when Lisa began to get involved.
She began by sponsoring a table at their signature event, “Inspirations,” a fashion show that features cancer kids and their siblings as the models.
Lisa is a stay-at-home mom, and as time has gone by both of her daughters have headed off to college, leaving her with more time to volunteer.
She has witnessed firsthand the hard work of CCN’s co-founder Patti Luttrell, and she knows what a difference the Luttrell family’s foundation has made in the lives of families that are dealing with childhood cancer.
When I asked Lisa how she would describe Patti, she didn’t hesitate when she told me: “Amazing; she’s just an amazing woman.”
Lisa believes that she gets much more out of life by volunteering her time because of the good feeling she receives as a result of the hours she puts in.
In Lisa’s spare time she loves being outdoors.
She likes to walk, run and bike. Luckily, CCN is located a just few miles from her house so she can easily ride the canals to their office.
It’s clear after talking with her for a while that she’s very proud of her two daughters, both of whom are attending U of A in Tucson.
Both of the girls have followed their mother’s example of volunteering time—with their sorority—to help make an impact among those experiencing domestic violence.
But during the summer, while at home in Tempe, they have been known to put in a few hours at CCN. To the entire Coonrod family: Way to go!
A West Chandler resident and mom for 20-plus years, Brenda Vanderbur contributes regularly to Wrangler News. Send your suggestion for our Neighbor Next Door feature to brenda.vanderbur @wranglernews.com or call her at 480-966-0845.