Finding cures for children's genetic diseases


A singular woman behind Jeans for Genes Day in one country town

For the past 16 years, Jenny Johnston has been coordinating a massive Jeans for Genes Day across the entire town of Gilgandra. The small regional NSW town of just 2800 people has raised $43,523 during that time – all because of Jenny.

Diagnosed with cancer earlier in the year, she may be in the middle of treatment, but she will still be pounding the pavement during Jeans for Genes Day on Friday 3rd August - even if she’s not feeling well.

“I’m passionate about research, in particular cancer research. It’s the only way we’ll get a cure.’’

It was 2002 when Jenny noticed that no one in Gilgandra took part in Jeans for Genes.

“I went to all the businesses and said to them, ‘if I ordered the merchandise boxes, can I put them in your business?’,’’ she said. “I walked up and down the main street in Gilgandra and asked everyone. They don’t need to do anything. If they run out of something, I fill them up.’’

She distributes 22 boxes to the stores, as well as St Joseph’s Catholic School. She also coordinates a stall which sells cake cups and is there from set up at 8am to shut down at 6pm.

“Not everyone has to make it as big as this, but everyone can start somewhere.’’

If you’d like to become involved in fundraising on Jeans for Genes Day visit