In one mommy’s words. . .

Filed under: Bake Sale,Buy Cookies Online,Donations — admin @ 2:31 pm January 31, 2010

Toby

Toby

Diagnosed April 17th 2007, at the age of 3.5, with NB stage 4.

 

In the course of two hours we went from having a perfectly healthy, sweet-as-pie, joyous toddler to hearing that he had an aggressive form of cancer and might die. Cancer robbed our child of his softness, his innocence, his curls, and his endurance. It has also revealed some remarkable things. We have a little boy who says “please” and “thank you” as poisons drip into his bloodstream. A little boy who makes the hospital clowns howl with laughter.

 

And a little boy who learned to read a full 2 years ahead of his peers, by deciphering hospital signs for “operating room,” “radiation,” and “infusion complete.” Throughout 18 months of non-stop treatment, while undergoing pain that neither of his parents would be able to endure, Toby has taught us what it means to live with hope.

 

To those who want to help:

Before Toby was diagnosed I never gave a thought to children with cancer. My only frame of reference was the strangely bald kids who sometimes appeared in hospital advertising and I always turned my eyes away… it was too painful to think of children suffering. Your willingness to look at our children is the greatest gift I can imagine. Your support and your love give Toby a chance at life. Thank you.

 

 

A Good Cookie Story

Filed under: Bake Sale — admin @ 10:54 pm January 8, 2010

Donation jar.

So much about pediatric cancer is out of my control. I’m not a scientist who can develop treatments and eventual cures. I don’t have an endowment or trust to donate and fund new therapies. And I absolutely cannot stop the hands of time, so I know tomorrow close to 50 more kids will be diagnosed with pediatric cancer. But I take comfort in the things I can do – like sharing the stories of Good Cookies who host bake sales. Like the Good Cookie story from Tisha Soladay in Redondo Beach, California, whose words and pictures bring to life the wonderfully ordinary and uniquely extraordinary elements of her Cookies for Kids’ Cancer bake sale. . .in Tisha’s words. . .

Tisha and her daughter Daphne

Tisha and her daughter Daphne

“I saw Joan Cusack on Martha Stewart and stopped what I was doing to learn about the cause she was supporting. I immediately knew that a bake sale was something I could handle. I had been looking for an organization to volunteer for, especially one that had to do with children and health, but hadn’t yet found one that was personal to me. I have always wanted to volunteer for Ronald McDonald House since my parents needed their services when I was little, but there is not a location near me. I was very sick at age 10 and was in and out of hospitals and doctors offices for years. Although it wasn’t cancer, it was a very scary time for my family and I and I almost died. I still suffer from two other autoimmune diseases today, so I felt like this was the field I wanted to volunteer for. When I saw the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer segment, I got very excited and immediately went to my computer to learn more. I started calling my closest friends and sending out emails the next day.

Tisha Soladay with her team (from back) Julie Slusser, Florence Messenger, and Candace Weber with their kids during the bake sale.

Tisha Soladay with her team (from back) Jenny Slusser, Florence Messenger, Candance Verdugo, and Cassie Weber with their kids during the bake sale.

I was psyched that Glad was matching funds, and I really wanted to get the bake sale done in December! I decided we should have our bake sale on December 13th during the Manhattan Beach Fireworks Festival since it was a high traffic event that thousands of people come to watch. Of course it was pouring rain two days prior, and I was a nervous wreck that the rain would ruin everything! But it cleared up, and we were able to go through with our bake sale. It was windy and cold but most people in town don’t miss the fireworks, so I knew there would still be lots of people.

We set up at 3pm and shortly after a nasty motorcycle cop tried to shut us down. I explained that I had permission to be there from the city, but he definitely wasn’t in the Christmas spirit and threatened to check it out. Thankfully he never returned! Some of our kids helped out and did a great job selling cookies and holding signs.

Early on, I was frustrated because it didn’t seem like many people were stopping on their way down to the show. I worried we were going to have tons of baked goods left! Our plan was to sell until the fireworks started then join our families on the beach, but a friend and I decided to stay and see if we could sell what was left as everyone walked back to their cars. Well, that was a great decision. We were bombarded with people after the fireworks and ended up selling almost everything. After 5 hours of standing and yelling some form of “Come buy cookies and support children’s cancer research!” we were beat! I couldn’t wait to get the kids in bed and count the cash!

Our goal was $500. My husband kept saying, “You have at least a thousand here,” but I just didn’t believe him until he said, “Look just his stack of twenties is $600!” Our total from the bake sale: $1069!! A friend’s husband sold leftover brownies at his work the next day plus my parents who couldn’t be at the sale donated money. So our GRAND total is $1135! I think we did pretty well for 5 hours out in the cold!” 
What a spread!

What a spread!


Stories like Tisha’s highlight some great ingredients of successful bake sales – inspiration, motivation, determination and fun! Her bake sale story also reminds me we don’t have to control every little aspect of pediatric cancer to make a difference. We can’t all be scientists, and we definitely cannot stop the hands of time. But if each of us contributes what is in our control by hosting a bake sale, ordering cookies, or making a donation, then together, we will raise the funds needed to make the biggest difference of all – we’ll save lives.  

 

 

Please register your Cookies for Kids’ Cancer bake sale today!

The Magic Word

Filed under: Bake Sale — admin @ 7:52 pm January 5, 2010

My kids ask for stuff all day long. It’s their job. They ask for something to drink, something to eat, something to do. . .and most of the time, they use the oh-so-polite Magic Word when asking. Frankly, their desires often become reality when they throw in a “please” with their request. But because they are children, they sometimes need a little prompting.

“What is the magic word?” I ask after a less-than-polite demand for more of whatever. Most of the time, they respond with, “Please!”

But on occasion, when in a silly mood, my kids have been known to provide an unconventional, “Abracadabra!” Or when they are with their cousins, the magic word often becomes,”Purple banana!” And regardless of which silly versions are used, you can guarantee the kids always erupt in fits of giggles. Their spirited, wide-open laughter is one of my favorite parts of childhood innocence. And that laughter is also one of the many reasons I get up every morning and work to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer. I want to do my part to keep as many kids focused on the silly things in life as possible.

Like the kids in the picture below. At first glance they look carefree, but once you hear their story, you will see wisdom in their eyes. The 5th graders pictured are from Riverside Elementary School in Newport News, VA. Two years ago, they watched their brave friend Tommy Gosser battle Ewings sarcoma, an insidious form of pediatric cancer. As mere third graders, they faced the fear and saddness of cancer and showed their own courage after losing their friend to the disease. Since then, they have regularly supported pediatric cancer fundraising, and as soon as they heard about Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, they hosted a bake sale this holiday season, raising over $1,000. Way to go, Riverside 5th Graders – you are Good Cookies, indeed.

Without the support of people like the kids, teachers, and parents from Riverside Elementary, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer couldn’t grant money to scientists who are ready to introduce new, improved treatments for kids battling this disease. But it is going to take many, many bake sales and many, many supporters to guarantee we can keep kids focused on laughter rather than learning, first-hand, about the harsh reality of cancer.

So, what magic words do we need to say to convince you to host a bake sale?  Are the magic words the reminder that pediatric cancer is the #1 disease killer of kids under the age of 18 in the US? Are the magic words that scientists are ready and waiting with new treatment options and all they need is funding? Are the magic words that bake sales mean hope to the mommies and daddies of brave pediatric warriors?

Or, quite simply, is the magic word “please?”

Would you please host a Cookies for Kids’ Cancer bake sale? Click here to register to host a bake sale.

Thank you for your support!

The 5th Graders from Riverside Elementary School in Newport News, VA, during their bake sale in honor of their friend Tommy Gosser, who lost his battle with Ewings sarcoma last year.

The 5th Graders from Riverside Elementary School in Newport News, VA, during their bake sale in honor of their friend Tommy Gosser, who lost his battle with Ewings sarcoma.

Change the World

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 10:52 am January 4, 2010

Woman’s Day Magazine is featuring women on a mission to make a difference in the world, and on that list, snuggled in between Gloria Allred and Hillary Rodham Clinton is our very own Cookies for Kids’ Cancer co-founder, Gretchen Holt Witt. Also featured on the list are the likes of glamorous Angelina Jolie and Nancy Goodman Brinker (founder of Susan G Komen foundation. . .) Not a bad list to make, eh? The list of women has big names, all with big hearts who want one thing – to make a difference in the world.

And Gretchen wants to make that differernce one cookie at a time. But she cannot do it without your help!

Anytime is a great time to register to host a bake sale or oder cookies from our online cookie store or to simply make a donation. Right now is the perfect time to start planning for Valentine’s Day. . .show your big heart with a bake sale and know you are changing the world of pediatric cancer, for the better, forever!

Click here to read the Woman’s Day article: http://www.womansday.com/Articles/Family-Lifestyle/Women-Who-Are-Changing-the-World.html

New Year’s Resolutions from the heart

Filed under: Bake Sale,Buy Cookies Online,Online donations — admin @ 2:33 pm January 1, 2010
The Polakov family of Calabasas, CA with friends from Malibu High School hosted a December 2009 bake sale. Thank you for being Good Cookies!

The Polakov family of Calabasas, CA with friends from Malibu High School hosted a December 2009 bake sale. Thank you for being Good Cookies!

Are you looking for a New Year’s Resolution? And by resolution, I don’t mean some unattainable, over-the-top goal that lets you down by, oh, next week. I’m talking about a true life change that you can keep up with, even when everything around you is anything but “resolved.” Well if you need an idea, of course, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer would love for you to adopt supporting us as your New Year’s Resolution. . .all you need is to give from the heart. In 2010 you could. . .

Resolve to host ONE bake sale this year! We encourage bake sales 365 days a year. . .Valentine’s Day is a great time to share your love and show your support for pediatric cancer research.

Resolve to send COOKIES for all of life’s special occasions this year! (Look! Even iVillage agrees!)

Resolve to begin a monthly donation to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. A $10/month commitment equals about two coffee drinks per month and adds up to $120 in tax deductible giving per year! That’s what I call a sacrifice that I can live with AND gives life!

Happy New Year! We look forward to many new beginnings in 2010!