Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Blog

Matt’s Letter to Friends. . .Inspiring Giving

Filed under: childhood cancer research — The Good Cookies @ 7:12 am May 17, 2012

Below is the letter Matt Mallgrave wrote to his friends and family, explaining that he was running a grueling marathon in honor of Liam Witt and to raise funds for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. We hope you read and are inspired by his words.

On Sunday April 29th I am running my 6th Marathon, the Big Sur Marathon. I am running to raise money and awareness for “Cookies for Kids’ Cancer,” a 501(c)3 non profit started by Gretchen and Larry Witt in 2008 as their 2 year old son Liam courageously fought stage IV childhood cancer.

This note is being sent to a select group of people I know who will recognize and support an organization that is making a difference in the underfunded world of pediatric cancer. If we reach our goal we will be the single highest donating team in Cookies for Kids’ Cancer history!

Click here to join. If you have any questions please contact me.


In his 6 short years, Liam had a huge impact on everyone he met. He was a loving, empathetic, charismatic little boy. His curiosity and enthusiasm were contagious. He spent many hours at the firehouse in his neighborhood. The tough firefighters who work there were so taken with this special child, that they gave him his own locker in the firehouse. Liam was so courageous that when he lost his battle, they gave him a hero’s farewell:

This race is for Liam and all the other children who are fighting and have fought innocently, never giving up.


Upon Liam’s diagnosis, Gretchen and Larry were shocked to learn that the main reason over 25% of kids diagnosed with cancer do not survive is because of a lack of effective therapies. And the reason for the lack of therapies was very simple: lack of funding. They pledged to support the development of new and better treatments by giving people a simple way to get involved.

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is not about one child or one type of pediatric cancer. It is about changing the facts of pediatric cancer for the better, forever. Here are just a few facts about pediatric cancer that you may not know:
• Cancer claims the lives of more children annually than any other disease, more than asthma, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis & AIDS combined.
• Everyday 46 children are diagnosed with cancer and 7 die.
• The causes of most childhood cancers are unknown. At present, childhood cancer cannot be prevented.
• Childhood cancer occurs regularly, randomly, and spares no ethnic group, socioeconomic class, or geographic region. In the United States, the incidence of cancer among adolescents and young adults is increasing at a greater rate than any other age group, except those over 65 years.
• The progress in survival rates is largely attributable to improvements in treatment and patients participating in clinical trials.
• Survival comes with a cost. Sixty percent of pediatric cancer survivors develop at least one chronic health condition because treatments are so harsh.
• Despite these facts, childhood cancer research is vastly and consistently underfunded. Childhood cancer research funding accounts for only 3.8% of all cancer research funding allotted by the federal government.
So, what is Cookies doing about the problem?
• In 2011 Cookies for Kids’ Cancer granted over $1.7 million to research. These funds gave 15 projects much needed funding to move their work from the lab to the clinic, ideally within the next 2 years.
• We’re currently receiving “progress reports” from the spring grants. All are showing promise of giving kids options they deserve within the anticipated timelines. One in particular is a standout – one of the projects we funded at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia was named by Discover Magazine to the list of the Top 100 Scientific Stories of 2011. ranked #10!

“If we were told that we could run only one marathon in our lifetime, Big Sur would have to be it.” Runners World Magazine

Most people raise funds for Cookies For Kids’ Cancer by…baking cookies. People have asked me, “Why Big Sur?” The simple answer is because:
1. I cannot bake
2. “The hard is what makes it great.”

This marathon is tough. They start it with a wakeup and bus at 345am with race start at 645am. They shut route 1 in California from Big Sur to Carmel. You run up and down hills from sea level to 600 feet and back, eventually ending in the town of Carmel. I have trained; yet you are never really ready for a race like this…I have vowed I will never stop.

Liam and children and families like his never stopped…

Thank you for your consideration and support.


Matt Mallgrave