AzHOSA chapter supports Light the Night Walk

November 01, 2016 / by / 0 Comment

By Karen Fernau
GCU News Bureau

When Jennifer Gonzalez Peña volunteered last year for a fundraising walk for leukemia, the Grand Canyon University biology major quickly realized she was the exception.

Almost everyone in the walk had friends or family with cancer. Peña didn’t know anyone who had the disease.

“My life really changed at that walk. I realized how lucky I was and decided to dedicate myself to those suffering from cancer,” said Peña, a senior and a member of GCU’s chapter in the AzHOSA health care professions organization.

Saturday, Peña will lead a contingent of volunteers at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Greater Phoenix Light the Night Walk to raise money to find blood cancer cures.

Peña, AzHOSA’s public service coordinator, hopes to more than double the number of GCU students in this year’s volunteer corps, from 40 in 2015 to 100, and she has raised $1,300 toward her goal of raising $3,000. Last year, the walks nationwide raised more than $17.2 million.

“Like with any cancers, the cure for blood cancers will come through research. And research takes money,” said Peña, who plans on teaching high school biology for a few years before medical school.

Volunteering at the walk fits into AzHOSA’s mission. The GCU chapter, the largest club on campus and largest chapter in Arizona, encourages its 200 members to roll up their sleeves and volunteer to help those suffering physical or mental illness. In addition, GCU’s AzHOSA chapter shares career opportunities by sponsoring workshops featuring health care professionals.

For Light the Night, Peña is recruiting student volunteers to help between noon and 10 p.m. at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, 5999 E. Van Buren Street, Phoenix. Transportation will be provided for volunteers.

GCU students can volunteer as support staff or participate in the walk. Students who raise $100 will receive a T-shirt and free dinner.

Registration for the walk begins at 5 p.m.

To volunteer, contact Peña at or sign up here.

Contact Karen Fernau at (602) 639-8344 or

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