Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Blog

Because of You

Filed under: childhood cancer research — The Good Cookies @ 12:00 am November 8, 2012

Dear Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Supporter,

We are writing today to share with you our latest news – that because of you, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is granting $1.15 million to research into new, improved and less toxic therapies in the fight against pediatric cancer. This is our latest and largest round of grants and we couldn’t be more proud or humble. These funds will go to five of the top pediatric cancer research centers in the nation – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Texas Children’s Cancer Center, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Along with grants for research, we are expanding our reach by partnering with the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) to support its Phase 1 Clinical Trial Consortium with a grant that matches, dollar for dollar, the Federal Government allowance per child enrolled in a Phase 1 trial. This partnership will ensure that more children will be enrolled in more clinical trials and have access to cutting edge research. It is research like this that keeps science moving forward and its support from people like you who helped make it happen.

The journey that led us to this announcement began five years ago. In the fall of 2007, we had what seemed like a crazy idea to bake and sell 96,000 cookies {8,000 dozen to be exact} during the holidays to raise money for a promising new treatment stuck on the shelf waiting for funding. We were not bakers. We were not activists. We were not even in the world of philanthropy. We were simply parents, inspired by our young son Liam’s battle with cancer.

Just months earlier our life as we knew it came to a screeching halt when a doctor told us that our seemingly healthy little boy had cancer. That bright February day began with Liam spending the morning at preschool, and ended with the cold, hard fact that a ruthless, cowardly disease was raging in our son’s body. Liam bravely battled back facing multiple rounds of chemotherapy, radiation, antibody therapy and surgeries. And as parents, we not only stood guard over Liam, ushering him through treatments, we also learned about the battle all kids diagnosed face against the #1 disease killer of children in our country.

We learned that there is a lack of safe, effective therapies for children battling cancer, and that there is one simple reason for the absence of treatment options: lack of funding. And so, we did the only thing we could do – we got involved. We decided it had to be our mission to help not just Liam but all children battling cancer. So  despite the lack of a proven organization, a brand people were familiar with, customers, or any reputation, we opened our online business in December 2007 with the hope of selling 96,000 to help fund this one new therapy with the belief that people would get involved in the fight against childhood cancer, if you gave them a way.

What happened next was nothing short of magical. Word of our little project spread and as people from all over the country heard the call to Be a Good Cookie, they ordered cookies – right then and there. In a matter of days, we sold out of all 96,000 cookies and at the end of the seemingly impossible project, raised over $420,000.

But that was just the beginning. Before the ovens even cooled, we heard the call to action from so many of you – the emails and phone calls kept coming in asking, “How can I keep helping? How can I get involved?” And then, because of you, we launched a national non-profit organization in September 2008. Now four years later, because of you and your support, we’ve granted nearly $4 million to support scientists in their daily mission to find new, improved and less toxic therapies for pediatric cancer.

Life has changed in these five years – Liam’s battle with cancer came to a heroic but tragic end in January of 2011, yet today, we continue the work he inspired us to start because we know he would want us to keep fighting for all children. We continue because we know so many children, too many, who are either in the battle for their lives or who have lost their battle. So today, we ask you to stand with us and stand with all children by supporting Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.  Host an event that raises money for research. Send a dozen or more cookies. Make a donation today. Every dollar counts. We’ve granted nearly $4 million and counting so far.

Thank you,

Larry, Gretchen and Ella Witt

Liam’s Daddy, Mommy, and Sister

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