FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE ) – WANE 15 is continuing to introduce to you to our Remarkable Women finalists of 2021.
Jennie Crandal is many things: a mom, wife, teacher and coach. But it’s her role as sister that helped raise thousands of dollars for a cancer organization.
Jennie’s parents got her involved in sports at an early age. That translated to two state basketball championships in high school at Bishop Luers, and then competing at the collegiate level at Purdue University.
“In my long line of doing athletics, it has really helped develop myself with, I think having the ability to occasionally, most often, lose with grace, win with grace as well,” said Jennie.
However, the wins were always sweet. Jennie coached the Canterbury High School Girls’ Soccer team to state championship wins in 2014 and 2015. Off the field, Jennie is a 3rd grade physical education teacher at Canterbury.
“I got into teaching, I always knew that it was something that I, I feel was a gift of mine that God had given me.”
Jennie said that gift is empathy.
“I’ve had a lot of trial and tribulations in my own life, and I think that helps me kind of relate to them.”
That gift showed once again after a beach trip with her brother, Fletcher.
“He had taken his shirt off. And I had noticed he had a pretty sizable lump right here,” Jennie said referencing her clavicle.
A few months later Fletcher received a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma diagnosis. Jennie started fundraising for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
“I felt kind of helpless being here. And you know I had gone out, and I had visited, and helped, but I wanted to do more…and I really felt like it was a way to give back. A way to give thanks for saving him.”
In total, Jennie helped raise over $100,000 for LLS, and received recognition within the organization.
Alongside her during the fundraising was her sons: Collin, Will and Henry. Her husband Jason was part of the journey, too. He nominated Jennie to be a Remarkable Women 2021 finalist.
“Her accomplishments are great, she’s done a lot in Fort Wayne as far as in high school and college and now professionally, but more important so, I think it’s her heart. She’s got, I always say, the world’s biggest heart,” said Jason.
A heart that wants to take the time to express her gratitude.
“I’ve always wanted to say this to the Fort Wayne community, I’ve always wanted to say thank you,” said Jennie.
Jennie said she’s saying thanks for the support during her time as an athlete, coach, and for funds raised in honor of her brother.
She said Fletcher is doing better and is now in remission since his diagnosis in 2012. He also helped make Jennie a proud aunt of two boys.