An update on Liam, the inspiration for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:54 am July 31, 2009

As many of you know, our Brave Prince Liam returned to battle this summer – facing first a high-dose round of chemo, followed yesterday by a long, intense surgery. Liam is the reason for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. As if the horrific diagnosis of pediatric cancer wasn’t enough, his mom and dad found the statistics of pediatric cancer unacceptable. There are too few treatment options, too many damaging side-effects, and too little funding to support treatments that are ready and waiting for all pediatric cancer warriors.

Earlier this week, Liam’s mommy Gretchen wrote in an email, “It’s not a lack of knowledge that’s holding us back which, as a parent, is the most frustrating part. It’s a lack of awareness which leads to a lack of funding.”

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is about raising awareness and raising funding. We’re here to move the needle, move the ball forward, move any of you out there to join our movement to change the scary statistics of pediatric cancer for the better, forever.

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is not about one kid or one kind of cancer. But it is about one source of inspiration – Liam. If you are interested in following Liam’s progress, we invite you to stay updated through our Facebook fan page or the family blog: www.princeliamthebrave.blogspot.com.

“The sea is so wide and my boat is so small.”

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 9:53 pm July 27, 2009

The first time I ever heard Marian Wright Edelman’s quote, “Dear Lord, Be good to me. The sea is so wide and my boat is so small,” I knew absolutely nothing about pediatric cancer, but I knew I liked the quote and how it related to children and life and all the loneliness that sometimes comes with the territory. So, I kept the quote, found on a business card from Edelman’s Children’s Defense Fund, on my desk for a while. And now that I’ve found myself involved in the world of pediatric cancer, I simply cannot get this phrase out of my head.

I think of the quote every time I think of a child enduring pediatric cancer treatments, knowing the chemotherapy or radiation or antibodies they endure to save their lives have seen little to no improvement in the method or the outcome in the past 20 years due to a lack of public or private funding for research.

I think of the quote every time I think of parents of pediatric cancer warriors who understand intimately the precise difference every dollar raised makes in the fight their children are facing. They know better than most of us that doctors are standing by with years of research and testing ready to be put into trials, just as soon as more fundraising dollars come in.

And I think of this quote when I think of bake sale hosts, the amazing good cookies who help raise the money needed to support research and improved treatments. The thing is, my image of the bake sale hosts is of a band of merry women and men, armed with sweets and treats and goodies, ready to make the boat of pediatric cancer just a bit bigger and the sea just a bit smaller. As I looked at the picture and read the account of Giny Ferraro’s recent bake sale in NYC, I felt like I was watching the boat get just a bit bigger before my eyes. . .

“Our bake sale was a total success! We were on Greenwich Avenue from 9-6 on a gorgeous day, and we sold everything up to the last chocolate chip cookie.  As far as the baked goods go, I got all of my Moms friends to bake some things for the sale.  Since my family and friends are from Argentina, many of the goods were Argentine specialties, such as Dulce De leche Alfajores, which were actually a huge hit since there is a big Hispanic population in Greenwich.  I also got two of Greenwich’s best bakeries, Aux Delices and Versailles to donate a bunch of Muffins, Croissants, Scones and more.  At the actual bake sale it was myself, my best friends, their boyfriends and my brothers.  We had a blast selling everything.  One of my friends had the brilliant idea to build a “tasting platter” and she walked the sidewalks enticing many passersby to stop by the bake sale.  It was nice to have some Cancer survivors stop by the table as well, they were very excited and grateful that we were throwing the bake sale. A lot of people were interested in the organization itself and were thrilled to know that anybody could participate by throwing their own bake sale.  Overall it was an amazing experience!”

Giny’s bake sale raised more than $1200. Right now, every penny of that money is needed  to improve treatments for more than a dozen types of pediatric cancer. But someday, sooner than later, a $1200 bake sale will include the single dollar needed to put the first cure for a pediatric cancer into use for real patients and real families. And when that day comes, we’ll all take a happy cruise together.

 

 

Hooray for IT support.

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 9:04 pm July 20, 2009

I’m willing to do many, many things to help raise money for pediatric cancer research and treatments. Donations? Of course. Bake sales? Absolutely. Volunteer coordination? Bring it on. Social media? You bet. Partnerships with great big companies? I can hardly sleep these days because I’m so excited about what is in store for us here at Cookies for Kids’ Cancer this fall.

But there is one key piece to the success of our online organization I just cannot bring myself to understand or take charge of – the inner workings of our website. The code. The platform. The logins. The online sales. I don’t want any part of understanding how the links and tabs work when I click them, I just want them to work.

And thanks to Volusion, the platform on which the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer website lives, I don’t have to take charge. You see Volusion offers our non-profit organization more than just a functional, versatile platform on which we can both communicate our brand and sell our cookies. Volusion offers us this platform free of charge, through the work of the Volusion Foundation’s Stores to Change the World program which provides IT support to eligible non-profits with full benefits and no cost.

Thanks to this program from Volusion, nearly every penny of our proceeds go directly in the hands of researchers who are innovating cutting-edge treatments in the world of pediatric cancer and not one penny is going to IT support. And since we don’t have to put a price tag on their often-used IT support, their help is truly priceless.

Read more about the Volusion Foundation, including the mention of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer in their blog last week, and see the difference they are making to us and other non-profits around the world.

Nathaniel – one precious Cookie

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 7:10 pm July 14, 2009

The other day, I went to update our Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Facebook fan page only to be totally distracted by five pictures of the sweetest little boy eating yummy-looking cookies and clearly enjoying every bite. The cute face had my attention but curiosity got the best of me since I did not recognize the name of the woman who posted the images and could not tell if the beautiful little boy was simply enjoying Cookies for Kids’ Cancer cookies or eating leftovers from a bake sale. With no other explanation attached to the pictures, I decided to be nosy and reach out to the poster in hopes of learning more. Sometimes being nosy pays off. . .in response to my note, I received the note below. . .

” I wish I could say that we’d done a bakesale but we haven’t yet. We’re in LA and I can’t think of a good place to hold one, and our schedule is pretty hectic now catching up on all the stuff we didn’t do during Nathaniel’s treatment.

What we did instead of a bake sale was promote Cookies for Kids’ Cancer at a party we had for Nathaniel to celebrate the end of his neuroblastoma treatment and thank everyone who was so supportive throughout it. We wanted to get the word out about Cookies for Kids’ Cancer since lots of our friends have asked for ways to help out. We made up goodie bags for each of the guests at the party, with one of each flavor of the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer cookies and a thank-you note that included the website to order more cookies online.

When we gave them out we told Nathaniel’s story and how impressed we were with the neuroblastoma program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, and let everyone know that they could order cookies and direct the proceeds to that program. Everyone loved the delicious cookies and will hopefully order more for themselves and as gifts now that they know how good they are and what a great cause they support! We had extra bags so we gave those out to my former co-workers and the team my husband is training with for a triathlon that benefits oncology at Children’s Hospital LA, and it sounds like a lot more people will be ordering your cookies online!

I’m from Santa Cruz and grew up eating Pacific Cookie Co. cookies (my dad had a retail store near their original, pre-earthquake store downtown) so I was delighted to find that that’s where you order your cookies from!

We’ll keep getting the word out about your organization and maybe find a way to do a bakesale one of these days!”

My jaw dropped. The beautiful face I saw on our Facebook page is one of a survivor – a little boy only 20 months old who has already faced pediatric cancer. And the yummy cookies the survivor was eating? None other than the cookies we sell right here on our website, year round, in an ongoing effort to raise money to support pediatric cancer research. And why, you might ask, did I not post Nathaniel’s beautiful face on our blog? Well, you are welcome to see him, but you’ll have to go to our Facebook page. And become a fan. Nathaniel’s face is totally worth the effort!

www.facebook.com/cookiesforkidscancer

Satisfy your Cookies craving. . .buy a t-shirt

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 6:31 pm July 8, 2009

Are you aware, oh good cookies, that Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has a gift shop? Shocking, I know. Perhaps it would be less shocking if I talked about it more often. Here’s a start: we have a gift shop, why not buy something?

I know, I know. Of course, it will take more than my mere suggestion to entice you to purchase one of our ringer t-shirts or baseball jerseys or a personal favorite, the baby bib hailing “My mom made some dough for pediatric cancer!” Seriously, how could you NOT love one of those for your little one or a friend’s little one? And if you are worried about cost, rest assured NOTHING in our gift shop costs more than $25. The adorable bib? It’s under $8. What a deal!

But low cost and high style aren’t really what will inspire you to wear Cookies apparel. But I’ll tell you what will get you shopping – the feeling you get from wearing a t-shirt with the Cookies logo. I speak from experience. . .

You see, last fall Liam’s “guys” – the amazing and brave men of Engine 1/Ladder 24 in Manhattan – put the fun in fundraising by hosting a pub crawl through Lower Manhattan. Not only did everyone have a great time and raise some cash for pediatric cancer research, attendees could buy souvenir t-shirts complete with the Cookies logo. Though I didn’t make it to the pub crawl (oh, the sadness of living away from the City), I bought a t-shirt for my t-shirt-loving husband, in hopes it would join the part of his collection in active rotation. And you know what? It did.

Springtime rolled around, finding us at the local hardware store or farmer’s market on Saturdays, and week after week, I beamed with pride as my sweet husband donned his Cookies for Kids’ Cancer t-shirt. He’s a marketer, loyal to brands and causes, and I knew every time he put on his Cookies t-shirt before we headed out of the house, he was making a statement.  Through his casual Cookies for Kids’ Cancer shirt, he both told the world what he cares about and helped spread the word about a great cause.

It’s mid-summer and his t-shirt is well-worn, so it truly feels good to wear, but he’s a good cookie so really it’s about the good feelings he gets from wearing it that matter to him.

Support pediatric cancer research today by shopping our gift shop.

Bake sale on the way to the beach

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 8:01 pm July 6, 2009

Perfect weather. Perfect location. Perfect time to host a bake sale.

July 4th in Amagansett, NY was a great day for a Cookies for Kids’ Cancer bake sale for Michelle Rotman Jassem and her team of friends, family, neighbors and kids. With the temperature perfect for a day outdoors, foot traffic steadily passed Jassem’s home along the main path to the beach, finding it hard to resist her home made baked goods sold with the help of enthusiastic youngsters.

At the end of the early afternoon bake sale, the team’s total came to $1280. . .but it gets better than that. One of the bakers, according to Jassem the “girlfriend of my friend’s sister-in-law” to be exact, actually has a non-profit foundation and promised to match the total, dollar for dollar. So with that, a beautiful afternoon in the summer raised $2560 to fund pediatric cancer research.

Pick a day. Find some friends. Ask at work if the company will match what you raise. It doesn’t take much to make a difference in fight against pediatric cancer. We hope you’ll come be a good cookie with us.