The Difference You Make,
Good Cookies

Filed under: Donations,Good Cookies,Inspire — The Good Cookies @ 9:08 am September 19, 2013

When you support Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, you are truly making a difference in the fight against pediatric cancer. The funds raised by you and thousands of supporters are granted to five of the nation’s leading pediatric cancer centers to develop safer, more effective cancer treatments for children. The goal is to bring promising developments to trial as quickly as possible to help children TODAY.

Did you know there are 12 major types of pediatric cancer? Each is as unique as the child battling it. When it comes to federal funding, less than 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s budget goes to pediatric cancer, and these funds must be divided between them all, making it difficult to advance new treatments to clinical trial.

Some of the funds also now match the federal allowance per child enrolled in the Children’s Oncology Group’s Phase I & Pilot Consortium , consisting of 21 hospitals nationwide. More children now have access to treatments they otherwise would not have been able to receive.

THE POWER OF A GOOD COOKIE…

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer recently received a letter from Texas Children’s Cancer Center explaining what has been accomplished with grants provided thanks to Good Cookies like you. We’re humbled and inspired by this letter, just as we are by the efforts of all the Good Cookies nationwide. YOU have made this possible. Here are a few excerpts from the letter:

I want to thank you and Cookies for Kids’ Cancer for the wonderful support you have given…over the past three years. We have received $585,000 which has been used to support some of our most promising research projects. It is not hyperbole to state that your support has been transformational in its impact on improving therapies for childhood cancer. Children are being treated with therapies that wouldn’t have been developed if it wasn’t for the support they receive from “Cookies.” Your donors can always be confident that they are backing the most brilliant and innovative childhood cancer researchers in the nation.

Click here to read the full letter from Texas Children’s Cancer Center.

An Unbreakable Bond

Filed under: Good Cookies,Inspire — The Good Cookies @ 6:52 am September 9, 2013

This is a story of two families, two children with cancer, and ONE unbreakable friendship.

In April 2011, 13-year-old Zach was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. He went through 9 months of chemo and 3 major surgeries. During this time, he was unable to attend school and had to be taught at home. When he returned to school as an 8th grader, there were a few new students.

One of those students was Nick Pinney. Zach and Nick became fast friends, hung out in the same group, and ironically, they had one thing in common…Cancer. Nick’s 15-year-old sister Amanda was diagnosed with Stage 4 Rhabdomyosarcoma in January 2012. As Zach’s hair was growing back, hers was falling out.

Cookies for Kids' Cancer blog

There was an unspoken bond between Nick and Zach. Each knew what it really meant to be touched by childhood cancer, both in different ways, both struggling to make sense of it all.

Although Zach was done with treatment, he struggled most of 2012 with trying to get his mobility back. He has a metal implant for his left femur, total knee and tibia. There are few who can truly understand what all of the hospital stays, disappointments, fears, and the anxiety that scans cause during treatment, after treatment…forever really. Those who can truly sympathize are those who unfortunately belong to the Childhood Cancer Club.

Treatment for Amanda was aggressive and lengthy. In October 2012, a scan showed that her cancer was progressing. After suffering a seizure the day after Christmas, they learned the cancer has metastasized in her brain. After 16 rounds of chemo and 45 radiation treatments, including rounds to her brain and lung, Amanda lost her battle on May 18th…5 days before Zach and Nick’s 8th grade graduation.

Both families are bonded for life, and both have decided that it’s time for them to take on the FIGHT to find the Cure for ALL types of childhood cancers. Nick and Zach want to work to raise money for research and for Study Protocols, so that no child, sibling, parent or friend will have to face what Amanda, Zach and Nick have faced in their young lives.

To start, the boys, who attend a school where uniforms are required, have worked to get a dress-down day approved for the end of September. Students will make a $5 donation to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer in exchange for permission to dress-down that day. Nick and Zach are also encouraging their friends to purchase the ASICS limited edition gold sneakers to wear on the dress-down day. ASICS is donating up to $50,000 to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer through sales of the special sneakers.

Learn more about how you can Be a Good Cookie. Ready to host your own local fundraising event? Sign up to host an event today!

A Good Cookie Mom’s Story

Filed under: About Cookies for Kids' Cancer,Good Cookies,Inspire — admin @ 12:41 pm September 8, 2013

My daughter Lucy was 3 years old when she was diagnosed with High Risk Neuroblastoma in 2009. She was a perfectly normal little girl, until that day. She endured multiple rounds of powerful cocktails of chemotherapy, a treatment that while hoping to give her life was also poisoning her. As a nurse, I would look at the IV bags as they slowly dripped and then flowed into my daughter’s body.

Good Cookie Mom Hillary's story

Good Cookie Hillary with her daughters Lucy (right) and Lily (left)

It was terrifying but there were no other options since decades-old chemo is still the standard of treatment for children battling cancer, the number one disease killer of children in the U.S. Lucy was one of more than 13,000 children diagnosed every year and was now part of the ranks of tens of thousands of children who are actively battling cancer on any given day in the U.S. To some she was a statistic, but to me she was and is everything. I’m not sure why, then, so little money and awareness is directed towards childhood cancer.

Lucy’s third round of chemo was vicious. It left her without the energy to hold her head up for more than a few minutes at a time. For more than 10 days after that week-long round of chemo ended, she was listless and just a shadow of her former self. It felt like a lifetime as I willed her back to the land of the living. It is a gut wrenching, out-of-body experience to watch your once full-of-life 3-year-old become a shell of her former self. Pale skin, sunken eyes, bald head, and the scars from incisions from surgeries and bone marrow aspirations… I shed a thousand tears when she wasn’t looking.

In the fog of treatment, I remember going to a grocery store during this time and noticing all the children who were out and about. They were riding their bikes, running, laughing and doing all the things that kids should be doing. All the things that Lucy and 13,000 other children should be doing. Kids should not be sitting in hospital rooms with poison pumping through their veins. Kids should not die from a disease that could be cured if we only addressed the problem by funding more research. Something like cancer doesn’t get better on its own. It doesn’t magically disappear. You have to work at it. Together.

After Lucy finished her 2.5 years of treatment, and made it through her first harrowing year of scans without cancer being detected in her body, I decided I needed to do something to try and make a difference. I wanted to raise awareness about how little money is directed towards pediatric cancer from the government and from drug companies. I wanted people to know that the disease classified as an “orphan disease” actually had faces and families behind it like Lucy’s. I wanted to raise money to help fund research that would hopefully save the children I knew who were still fighting this ugly and ruthless disease. I wanted to make all the angels proud knowing that they had inspired me and so many others into action. I wanted a cure.

I talked with fellow cancer parents about starting an organization called Lucy’s Light to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer. Many of them had been involved in different organizations already and had some good information for me. I received Gretchen Witt’s name from my friend Robin who I had met while our girls were in treatment together. She told me that Gretchen had started Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and would be willing to offer her guidance. I then talked with another friend, Carmen, who I met during our kids’ treatment. She told me something that made everything kind of click in my brain. She said that Gretchen had once said to her that we need to band together.

I'm a Good Cookie

When asked to draw a picture about herself, Lucy drew this picture, where she calls herself a Good Cookie.

Instead of having hundreds of different pediatric cancer foundations, we need to group the energy to make the biggest impact. And this totally made sense to me. The voices needed to come together so that they could be heard. I checked out the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer website and loved the fact that it was not about one cancer or one child. I loved hearing from Gretchen that they make every dollar count. It didn’t take long for me to decide that Lucy’s Light would team up with Cookies and donate all money raised to this amazing organization.

My first event was a Dodge Ball tournament. It was a lot of work, but nothing compared to the treatment Lucy had endured. Lucy and her light inspired me and kept me strong. And with her light guiding the way, we had an incredible tournament that far exceeded my expectations. We’re already planning the next tournament and as equally important, we have shined a light on the needs surrounding this awful disease that preys on children in our community.

When our children are born, we worry about so many things to make sure they are safe. Cancer is not something any parent should have to worry about or any child have to suffer through.

Hillary Waldeisen, Mom of Lucy, now 7, and showing no evidence of cancer
Founder of Lucy’s Light and Supporter of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer

Learn more about how you can get involved and Be a Good Cookie. Want to host your own event? Register today!