The American Red Cross will be holding the Annual UNL Athletic Department blood drive in Honor of Jessica Lutton Bedient:

June 16, 2011 at University of Nebraska Lincoln Memorial Stadium – West Stadium Club Level 3 from 10:00 AM-04:00 PM

Only 38 percent of the population is eligible to give blood and only a fraction of those actually donate. Please help change a life, starting with your own. Schedule your appointment today.

Below are the stories of volunteerism and engagement inspired by Jessica’s story.  Read the stories, see the smiles, and continue to be moved to action.

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.” – Scott Adams

Share your story here and PASS IT ON

I joined Team Jess today in the Lincoln Half Marathon. I wanted to honor Jess by completing a goal I never dreamed I could achieve.

Two and a half months ago I could barely run a mile. Today I finished the half marathon (running about 8.5miles) and the last mile all I could think about was Jess. I cried all the way across the finish line. Thank you for keeping me company today, Jess!

Abigail Huether

Abigail was born in 2009 and was immediately the light of everyone’s life. We knew early on that she had liver issues but did not find out until she was 8 months old exactly what the disease was. It is an extremely rare genetic disease and she is the 32nd person identified with the specific genetic makeup. The disease caused her to be extremely itchy and she had to wear long sleeves and pants even in 100-degree weather or she would scratch until she made herself bleed. It caused malabsorption of vitamins which led her to have brittle bones and she actually fractured her leg as she was learning to stand. She was delayed in her gross motor skills due to her lack of energy and enlarged belly. Abby was also extremely yellow as she was unable to rid her body of toxins and billirubin. Yet, in all her discomfort and lethargy, she giggled and smiled. The disease led to liver cancer and they decided she needed a transplant immediately. She was just 17 months old. She was always a happy, sweet girl but it was not until she received her gift that we truly understood how amazing she is. She is now healthier than she ever has been and is blossoming into an incredible little girl. She brightens any room she enters and everyone is drawn to her sweet nature. She is no longer itchy, made up her gross motor delays in just a few weeks and the disease and cancer are gone.
Abigail and our donor family inspired us to start a non-profit organization called PLaiD – Pediatric Liver Aid. Our mission is to provide support for families going through liver disease and transplantation. Our lives have been changed thanks to organ donation and we want to give back!

This spring we want to keep Jess’ spirit alive by passing it on. Alpha Phi and Farmhouse will be hosting a 5-k to raise money to help Chase Jess’ Dream. The money raised will also go towards building a school in Tanzania, a place where ‘school’ is a foreign concept.

We encourage all of you to sign up for Jess’ 5-k to raise awareness for drunk driving as well as help change the lives of children in Tanzania.

The 5-k will be on Sunday, April 10th at noon at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln East campus loop. To register, you can give a check/cash to Katie Heacock, Sara Lutton, Jack Ehrke or any Alpha Phi and Farmhouse member
Pay online @ is $20 which will include a t-shirt. Be sure to give your tshirt size to us with cash/check or when you register on the website you can just write your t-shirt size in the message section. Look at my example! on there.
Registration with t-shirt will stop March 12. If you register after this deadline we cannot guarantee a t-shirt.

With your help we can Chase Jess’ Dream and continue to help her Pass it on.

Thank you for deciding to join our team and running the Lincoln Half Marathon to Honor Jessica Lutton Bedient and to raise money to build a school in Tanzania.  Hopefully you have registered for the run as it is SOLD OUT.


If you want to help us raise money we are using an online site to do so.
Here is the link to our home page
It is really easy to make your own page…click on GET STARTED and follow the simple instructions.
We ask that you try to raise $500. If you only raise $10 – that is great!! Any dollar amount you raise helps!


We are all running in matching Adidas “TEAM JESS” Shirts.
The cost per shirt is $30. Please order your shirt ASAP!!!!!

Shirts can be purchased online at

Please e-mail to let him know you are now a part of “TEAM JESS”.


It’s not that I don’t know Jess…it’s just that I really, really know her big sister.

Aren’t there stages of grief that we are supposed to go through? Of shock and disbelief and helplessness, and frustration…and I am pretty sure that eventually all of us are supposed to finish with acceptance and be done with it. What I am realizing though, is that at least this time around, there was some wiggle room in there for a different stage. I think someone made that room for us (thank you), and she did it because she was inspired by Jess (thank you). I am calling this ”other” stage Motivation.
So I went through some of the above stages and in the process happened upon this website. Read the rest of this entry »

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope this letter sees you well. I wanted to first thank all of you for the prayers and support you have provided my wife, myself, and our families over the last three months. It has been and continues to be a very difficult time for all of us…
Jessica’s life was an example to us all. In her honor I am going to run the Lincoln Half Marathon on May 1st. I would like to challenge her friends, family and anybody who has heard about her story to join me in this run for Jess. If you are not a runner know that you can still walk the half marathon or help be part of the support staff.
In an effort to continue her dreams, our goal is to build a school in Tanzania with the money we raise from the marathon.
Please join me at an informational meeting on Saturday January 15th 9:00a.m. at Quarry Oaks Golf Course where you can learn about the run for Jess. We will discuss fund raising opportunities and discuss proper training for a half marathon.
If you can attend the meeting can you please e-mail Joe Sutter at Joe will be organizing the meeting and run for Jessica.
God bless and thank you for your support,

Tony Bedient

>> <<

Thanks to everyone for your overwhelming participation in our December Volunteer Opportunities. We wanted to take a minute to give you a near month’s-end update on the December Project Response: Read the rest of this entry »

Jessica was our daughter. We were blest to have her for 26 years. She was smart, talented and as beautiful on the inside as the outside. She was so sensitive that she knew what others were feeling without being told and she always had a strong sense of what is right. Her father says she taught us. Throughout her life Jess found her own inner strength by helping others and volunteering. Read the rest of this entry »