Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Blog

New Clinical Trial Gives Hope to Children Battling Cancer: Aidan’s Story

Filed under: childhood cancer research,kids fighting cancer — Tags: , — The Good Cookies @ 11:04 am September 12, 2017

Michele Brown courageously shares her son’s story and his fight with neuroblastoma.

March 17, 2010 was the last day of before. Before Cancer. Before our new normal.

We had piggybacked our boys from their beds to breakfast. This was our fun way of getting them up early and off to school. Like usual, we flopped Aidan onto the couch, but this day he cried out in pain and told us that his “weak leg” hurt.

After two months of numerous visits to the pediatrician, orthopedist, rheumatologist, infectious disease doctor and emergency room, we heard the words that marked time. There was then and now, before and after. Our beautiful boy was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma just days before his fifth birthday. The large tumor wrapped around his left kidney had already metastasized to the bones in his weak leg and three other spots before we knew anything was wrong.  When Aidan relapsed in June of 2014 we had finally exhaled. Aidan had just finished a great year in the 2nd grade. He was playing soccer and basketball. The light in his eyes, his energy, and his auburn hair were back. The first time around we knew something was wrong.  He had fevers and pain. This time we were blindsided. We believed we had beaten the odds, but instead we ended up in an even worse statistical cesspool.

The first time, Aidan endured three surgeries, seven rounds of chemotherapy, a stem-cell transplant, five rounds of immunotherapy, 12 proton radiation treatments and about 150 days in the hospital. It was hell. No words describe the pain, damage done, innocence lost, the changes in the family and sibling dynamics, the weight of every decision, the suffering, or the fear. Yet, there was a plan for treatment and cautious optimism from the medical community. So we persevered. We learned how to let others support us. We questioned but clung to our faith. We cried every day but remained determined to learn life’s lessons: make each day count, find joy and something to be grateful for, take it one day at a time. We struggled to hold onto a job, deal with the insurance companies, understand medical jargon and drug side effects, take care of big-brother Alex, help Aidan through horrific treatments, and keep ourselves from falling into a pit of despair.

The second time there was no protocol to follow. Our local children’s hospital and our compassionate doctor had nothing to offer but more radiation and a clinical trial that involved chemo treatments. They were scheduled one week on, followed by two weeks off, until they “stopped working.” There was little hope to be found anywhere. Our schedule became the continuous loop of: our family being torn apart, Aidan being sick in the hospital from treatment, coming home and helping Aidan recover, having one good week, and then back to the hospital. We were devastated. Then, we read an article about a vaccine getting orphan drug status. The Trivalent B Vaccine was being offered at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and this promising new drug was funded by Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.

We flew back and forth to NYC to get Aidan the series of seven vaccines. It was a hassle to get to NY but we returned home thankful to have our family together and able to sleep in our own beds, under one roof, on most nights. Aidan had a sore leg and welt at the injection site but he wasn’t nauseous and not eating. After each treatment, his immune system grew stronger, instead of weaker. Best of all, we had hope. Children with cancer, their parents, their big-brothers and everyone around them need hope. New cancer drugs mean hope — hope for a longer life, a better quality of life or maybe even a cure.

We know first-hand the difference new research and new drugs can make. We live with a miracle. Aidan recently celebrated his 12th birthday. His scans remain clear. Once again, he is happy and healthy, playing basketball and soccer. He earned straight A’s in school and he plays the violin. He is amazing. We can’t let our minds think about what our lives would look like if Cookies for Kids’ Cancer hadn’t funded that vaccine. We pray we never need the future drugs they will fund.

We try our best to fight back our fears, live in the moment, and recognize that we have been given a gift and that the future is uncertain for everyone. We will spend our lives grateful to Gretchen Holt-Witt and the staff who work tirelessly to help bring new treatment options to the most innocent victims. Thank you to everyone who supports Cookies for Kids’ Cancer and their research.

If you have ever wondered how you can help or what you can do, please give to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. You can give more families, like ours, much-needed hope.

New Clinical Trial Gives Hope to Children Battling Cancer: Ber’s Story

Filed under: childhood cancer research,kids fighting cancer — The Good Cookies @ 1:56 pm August 8, 2017

 

Amber VanderMeer courageously shares the story of her son Ber and his fight with neuroblastoma. 

Our introduction to the world of pediatric cancer came in 2007, when our sweet and innocent son, Ber (“Bear”), was diagnosed with stage IV neuroblastoma the week of his fourth birthday.

2007 was a very memorable year for our family.  We moved into our new house in January and in June we welcomed our precious daughter Elizabeth.  In October, Ber began to sporadically complain about some aches and pains. We took him to the doctor and it was suggested that he was simply having growing pains. Toward the end of November, Ber’s energy declined. He started running a low fever and he just wasn’t himself.  Ber turned four on Monday, November 26 and on Friday, November 30 we learned that Ber had cancer.

How did this happen?  How did we go from worrying about having enough goodie bags to trying to figure out how to fight pediatric cancer and save our son’s life?  We quickly developed a treatment plan and began the process of trying to get the upper hand on the cancer cells that were attempting to take over Ber’s small body.

With Ber, we talked about “strong medicine” that would make him feel bad, but was needed to kill the “bad cells”.  We gained a new vocabulary full of words like hickman lines and neutropenia.  We became members of a new community full of parents trying to save their children too.  We learned that most of the treatment options were toxic and would likely cause other complications such as hearing loss, heart damage, and even other forms of cancer.  When they hang a bag of IV chemotherapy that is labeled “caution – carcinogen” it sends up all kinds of red flags in your head. But what else can you do when this is the standard procedure?

Over the next seven and a half years we were incredibly fortunate to put together the right combination of treatments to rid Ber’s body of cancer.  This included chemotherapy, surgery, radiation, immunotherapy, and a neuroblastoma vaccine.  Not all of the treatments would work the way we had hoped they would.  Clinical trials gave us additional treatment options and provided hope when we needed it most.

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer funded the neuroblastoma vaccine that Ber received and is dedicated to raising money to fund less toxic treatment options for pediatric cancer patients.  We are eternally grateful and want to encourage others to support this cause.

It’s so easy to send cookies to someone, host a bake sale, organize a hat day, and make others aware of the fact that sadly only 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s budget is dedicated to all types of pediatric cancer combined.  Everyone has the ability to make a difference in the lives of children fighting cancer.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Helen Keller

To learn more about the phase 1 clinical trial, funded in part by Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, available this month for kids just like Ber, click here. To donate to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer to fund research into new, innovative treatments for the #1 disease killer of kids in the U.S., click here.

 

Photos: Ber & his family.

From Good Cookie to Clinical Trial

How Your Support Has Helped Develop A New Treatment For Pediatric Cancer

Today is a good day. Today we are filled with hope. Because today marks the launch of a clinical trial for a new, less toxic treatment for children battling cancer. Days like these are so meaningful because it means that we are doing what we have set out to do, which is to empower and inspire Good Cookies all across the world to join us in raising funds and awareness for pediatric cancer research! We are very excited to announce the news of this phase 1 clinical trial with you today and to share more details of this important story over the next few months.

We sharing lots of information on our social media, through our email newsletter, and we will be posting a series of blog posts written by families with children who have battled or are still battling neuroblastoma, the deadly form of cancer that this new drug is designed to treat. We hope you stay tuned for these personal stories and are inspired to be the best Good Cookie you can be!

One Doctor, Years of Work, and HOPE at the Launch of a Clinical Trial.

It all starts with Yael P. Mossé, MD and her brilliant work at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Dr. Mossé is an attending physician at CHOP’s Cancer Center with a special interest in neuroblastoma. Her work led to a grant submission to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer in 2015, and approval by our Medical Advisory Board. It was the first grant Mossé received for this stage of pre-clinical work on the promising new drug, called Lorlatinib.

Six months after receiving the first grant from Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, Dr. Mossé’s results were moving ahead so rapidly that the NANT Consortium [New Approaches to Neuroblastoma Therapy] and the drug’s manufacturer, Pfizer, all began to merge interests to move toward the clinical trial phase. Alongside these developments came another $200,000 grant from Cookies for Kids’ Cancer to insure the testing and data were of the highest quality in hopes of benefitting children with neuroblastoma.The work has led to the launch of the trial’s enrollment process at several sites including Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and will become available at all 16 centers over the next several weeks.

The phase 1 study is enrolling patients at the following 16 centers:

UCSF School of Medicine    

Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital

Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital

Children’s Hospital Colorado

Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

C. S. Mott Children’s Hospital

Cook Children’s Healthcare System

Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada  

Seattle Children’s Hospital      

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta   

University of Chicago, Comer Children’s Hospital

Royal Marsden Hospital, London, England

Institut Curie, Paris, France

Children’s Hospital Boston, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

There are so many Tough Cookies out there who could benefit from a new treatment such as this one. And although we cannot know if this first trial will lead to a second, or to a cure, we believe that this trial will serve as a source of hope for the children and families out there who are in the fight of their lives.

With your help, Cookies for Kid’s Cancer will continue funding this type of research and working alongside brilliant doctors like Dr. Mossé and respected research institutes like Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, to develop new treatments for precious children who are battling this disease.

We will be sharing more details about this clinical trial, the story behind of how it all came together, and ways that you can help continue to fund these developments in pediatric cancer research across our social media channels so be sure to stay tuned! Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

The Bucket List Bake Sale

Filed under: community fundraising ideas,kids fighting cancer — Tags: , — The Good Cookies @ 9:01 pm July 11, 2017

 

Hello, Good Cookies! Today’s blog was written by fellow Good Cookie Rachel Kirkham, who put her own spin on the classic bake sale. 

The Bucket List Bake Sale

Not long after Liam Witt’s passing, I stumbled upon his mother’s blog. I was a new mother, and my heart instantly broke as I read about their journey. If possible, my heart also pieced itself back together when I saw that they were working to help kids like Liam through their charity, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. It was from that moment on that I decided I’d follow Gretchen Witt to the ends of the earth if it meant that children like Liam could get help battling this horrible killer.

I have since met Gretchen and her family and have done anything and everything I can to help when they need it — be it volunteering at their annual Chef’s for Kids gala, or educating people about this amazing organization. The one thing that I was always too afraid to do was what Cookies for Kids’ Cancer was known for — the very roots of their foundation: a bake sale.

I am three years away from my 40th birthday, and I have managed to create a hefty bucket list of things I want to accomplish before that big day. Many of the items on my list are superficial and silly: meet Julie Andrews, run a sub 2-hour half marathon, successfully make a meal my children will eat. And some goals are lofty: plan and execute a big-city race benefiting charity, travel through Greece with my husband, take my kids to Austria. But, at the very top of my list is to finally conquer my fear of having a bake sale for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.

Don’t ask me why I have been afraid to do it. I’m sure it is because I’m worried I will fail in some way. I don’t want to ask people for help, I don’t want to beg for donations…. blah, blah, blah. My list of excuses was miles long, but my list of reasons to do it was even longer. I knew that this year was the best time to do it because it would kick off my bucket list and my kids are finally old enough to help and truly understand the purpose. My daughter Lucy is the same age Liam was when he lost his battle to cancer. I look at her and can’t imagine my life without her, and I would be remiss if I didn’t help this cause in some small way.  

I have rallied my neighborhood pals and begged for baked goods. I have talked to city council. I have secured a location with major foot traffic. I have nailed down donations from local vendors. I have gathered a gaggle of cute kids, and even have friends and family from afar who can’t be here, but have donated to our fundraising page online. I have put myself out there, and have grown so much from this journey that I’m not sure who is winning more, me or the kids we aim to help. 

When asked what my inspiration was to add this bake sale to my bucket list, I was able to instantly answer with one person’s name: Gretchen Witt. I look and her and see hope for so many kids. I often face hard days and think of her and her strength and know that if Gretchen can get through a day, so can I. I want to do this bake sale to thank her in a small way for being such an integral part of my life. If she could do it, I could do it. 

The best part about this whole journey has been teaching my kids what it means to truly give back. I feel like they have a connection with Liam somehow and have taken in his story so deeply, and I am grateful for that. I now know why it took me so long to get the guts to have this bake sale: I needed my kids to help me be brave.

So, if you see our bake sale in New Jersey, we will be the loud ones with green balloons and orange shirts giving our hearts to Gretchen, Larry, Ella, and Liam, and everyone we have met on this journey.

– Rachel

Inspired? You can still make an online donation to Rachel’s Bucket List Bake Sale fundraising page here, OR you can register for you own bake sale or other fundraising event.

 Visit our Facebook page for more fundraising event ideas!

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Share the Love

Filed under: kids fighting cancer — The Good Cookies @ 3:00 pm January 24, 2017

January 24th, marks six years since Liam Witt’s battle with cancer came to an end. On Valentine’s Day 2011, hundreds gathered in New York City to celebrate the life of Liam Witt, the little boy who inspired his parents to start Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. While cancer cut his life short, Liam’s LOVE for people, for living, and for life has become his true, enduring legacy.

Liam Witt

Love Inspired Action…

Just 2 ½-years-old when diagnosed, Liam’s parents, Larry and Gretchen Witt, quickly learned of the lack of treatment options for pediatric cancers.  When his oncologist shared, “It’s not science that’s holding us back, it’s funding,” Gretchen knew she had to take action. But first, Liam had to be ushered through months of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Throughout the process, his bravery and compassion inspired his parents. When he was declared to have no evidence of disease, they began to think of how to help other children.

The 2007 holiday season was approaching as Gretchen thought of ways to raise funds for a promising new treatment. She realized she needed something so sweet and comforting that it would conquer the fear associated with pediatric cancer. The answer? Cookies. With the help of 250 volunteers, Gretchen baked and sold 96,000 cookies – in person, online, any way she could – to raise funds. That original “bake sale” raised more than $420,000. Before long, people began reaching out asking, “What can I do to help?”

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A Transcending Love…

Reaching far beyond his family, Liam’s love knew no boundaries. Though he battled cancer off and on for nearly four years, he had special relationships with everyone he encountered, from doctors, nurses and teachers, to the firefighters of Engine 1/Ladder 24, the station he passed on his way home from school or treatments at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. 

He called the firefighters his “guys,” and made sure they all knew he loved them. And they weren’t afraid to show their love in return. In their station, they gave Liam his own locker, suit and helmet. On January 24, 2011, Liam’s battle came to an end. Suddenly, the numbers of his beloved Engine 1/Ladder 24 took on a special meaning.

For his Valentine’s Day memorial service,  an entire street in New York City was closed off as Liam’s “guys” honored him with a hero’s farewell. The message that day was to Love Like Liam. Today, his locker at the firehouse still serves as a reminder of that message.

- Liam Witt gets a hero s farewell YouTube

A Legacy of Love…

Liam’s love continues to inspire us and people everywhere. Since 2008, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has granted nearly $12.5 million, funding 91 research projects, including 34 that are now treatments available for children battling cancer today.

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer isn’t just about Liam. It’s not about one type of cancer. It’s about every child, everywhere. Every child deserves a fighting chance. As long as there are treatments sitting on shelves waiting for funding, we’ll be fighting to move them forward. This year, we hope you’ll be inspired to join us in sharing the love.

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Three simple way to help this Valentine’s Day:

  1. Order cookies. Delicious and all-natural, 100% of the profits goes to pediatric cancer research.
  2. Make a donation. You can select the type of cancer your gift supports, and feel good knowing your contribution will be used to find less toxic, more effective treatments for pediatric cancer research.
  3. Host an event. Thousands of bake sales and other grassroots events have been held in all 50 states and in 16 countries. No effort is too small to make a difference.   Register here and we’ll be in touch to support you every step of the way! #BeAGoodCookie

Tough Cookie Levi

Filed under: kids fighting cancer — The Good Cookies @ 10:04 pm September 27, 2016

As Told by Levi’s Mom… 

Whenever anyone met Levi as a newborn, they always told me how beautiful his eyes were. I couldn’t help but agree. He has my husband’s eyes—deep blue. They draw you into his wonderful soul.

Around his three-month checkup, I noticed Levi had a little bit of a lazy eye. His pediatrician told me there was no concern that she could detect. Still, she referred us to an ophthalmologist to discuss any lazy eye concerns. I made the appointment a week later.

On April 20th, 2015, I was rushing to get both kids and myself ready. The dogs were being obnoxious. I spilled my coffee. I couldn’t seem to get in my groove. It was a terrible morning, and I just wanted to get the day over with. Once we got to the ophthalmologist, my daughter found some toys for her and her brother to play with. She was good at distracting Levi. Once we went back to a room, the doctor looked at his eyes briefly and asked if I thought he was able to see out of his right eye. I was a little shocked and said I thought he could see fine. He brushed it off and told me he wanted to dilate his eyes and look a little deeper. Once the drops were in we had to wait 30 minutes for them to kick in.

My mind was running, how could I have a blind baby? How could I not have known? How did this even happen? I mean, I didn’t even know for sure if that was the problem, but why would the doctor have asked me if Levi was able to see anything? A little confusion, but I knew everything was going to be fine.

My daughter led the way to the room. She always likes to be the leader. I sat on the chair with Levi in my lap. The doctor turned the lights down and held up some toys to guide Levi to look in various directions. He was holding up these different items. They almost looked like crystals. He was looking through them to see Levi’s eye. This went on for about 3 minutes. It felt like an eternity. He turned the lights on and got pretty quiet.

“Does retinoblastoma run in your family?”

I froze.  All I heard was “-blastoma.” I know that means cancer.

“…no?”

“Well, I believe Levi has it, and he needs to be seen right away to figure out the treatment options.” 

I looked down at my four month old, calmly chewing on his teether. I cried, an ugly cry. My daughter ran up to me with tissues, rubbing my arm and telling me everything was OK. I was worried about Levi having a lazy eye, about him being blind. How I wish that was the problem, and it wasn’t cancer. Why was I so mad this morning? Take me back to that chaos. Throw all the nonsense and annoyance on me and just take the cancer away. There was so much I took for granted. Why does my baby deserve a diagnosis? Put it on me instead.

Long story short, Levi was diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma. He had tumors in both eyes, but the ones in his right eye were fairly large. He had 5 rounds of chemotherapy, and he has had countless rounds of laser treatment to destroy the tumors. He is still fighting, and they are still watching the tumors to look for regrowth. He needs MRI’s every 6 months to watch for any activity in his brain. All in all, he is healthy. 

Retinoblastoma can be detected when you take a picture with a flash. If a child has retinoblastoma, a white glow from the pupils will appear in the photo (see photo of Levi, above right). A lot of parents aren’t aware of this, and they go years without noticing. When this happens, the child will most likely lose their eye. We got lucky, and we have been able to save Levi’s eyes. All I can hope for now is that we can continue to fight off the tumors and not let them win. Levi does so many things, all the things a “normal” 21 month old does. However, the worry never goes away. Childhood cancer is always in the back of my mind whenever he doesn’t feel good.

This is a battle for the rest of our lives.

We need a cure. All the children need a cure.

levi

Tough Cookie Abby

Filed under: kids fighting cancer — The Good Cookies @ 3:35 pm September 7, 2016

Remembering Abby

On September 7th, 2015, Abby Shapiro’s parents said goodbye to their beautiful, vibrant daughter after her valiant battle with cancer. Today, one year later, we stand with them to honor Abby’s life and share her indomitable #ToughCookie spirit.

In the past 365 days, 40,000 children have been in active treatment for childhood cancer. In that same year, 14,000 families have heard the devastating words “your child has cancer” for the first time. And during every moment of those same 365 days, Abby has been immeasurably missed by her family, her friends, her class- and teammates and community. 

Join us as we send love to the Shapiro family today and every day. . .and as we fight for all children battling cancer. To learn more about Abby, follow the link – her story was beautifully told by The Washington Post.

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Tough Cookie Bailee

Filed under: kids fighting cancer — The Good Cookies @ 12:20 am

Bailee’s mom shares her Tough Cookie’s story

Bailee was born with Down syndrome as well as a congenital heart defect.  At five months of age she had open-heart surgery to correct the heart defect.  We were aware that children with DS are at a slightly higher risk for leukemia but never thought it would happen.  Last fall, our family was busy with work, daycare, and daily life when, on October 6, 2015, three weeks before her third birthday, Bailee was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. In the weeks leading up to her diagnosis, she experienced severe bruising, unexplained illness, nose bleeds, and petechia (spots caused by bleeding into the skin). The past year has been tough on Bailee, as well as our family.  It’s been hard to see her sick from the disease and treatments. We spent her birthday and her sister’s birthday in the hospital. In some ways it feels like our lives stopped and the rest of the world went on without us. Fortunately, we were able to be together, as a family. Bailee is approaching one year in treatment and doing well. She will start preschool in a few weeks, and she’s happy to be able to do the things she loves again. Bailee enjoys going to the park, painting, playing with her little sister JoJo and her doggie Lucy. Our family is hopeful that the hardest part of our battle is over, but we realize we still have a long way to go.

Last September our family knew very little about childhood cancer. Today, we want to do what we can to spread awareness and make a difference. 

Read more about Kids Who Inspire Us here.

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September 1 2016

Filed under: kids fighting cancer — The Good Cookies @ 8:20 pm September 1, 2016

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Join the Good Cookie Movement

Good Cookies across the country are honoring this important month by participating in our 50 States Challenge. Supporters from coast to coast and even across the border in Canada are holding events from bingo nights to bake sales. This is the 3rd year of the challenge which has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for critically needed research into the number one disease killer of children in the U.S. With less than 4% of cancer research dollars directed towards children, efforts like this one are vitally important to make up the funding gap. It’s not too late to join us!

 

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Starting Today, OXO to DOUBLE Funds Raised!

There’s no better time than NOW to host an event. Beginning today, OXO is doubling funds raised through grassroots events up to $100,000! OXO has been a true champion of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer since the very first days, but they want YOU to be a partner in this effort. Can’t host an event in September? No problem. The match period lasts until December 31st. Or, look for an event in your area and join forces. As the saying goes, “Many hands make light work.”

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ASICS’ Sole Impact

The 2016 Accelerate Hope™ collection of sneakers benefiting Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is available! Buying a pair not only triggers a donation, but also raises awareness by sporting a limited edition sneaker designed specifically to honor childhood cancer. Each and every pair features a gold ribbon, the official color of childhood cancer, stitched on the heel as a show of support for the thousands of children battling cancer. You don’t have to run a marathon to wear these sneakers – but if you do, make every stride count for kids’ cancer and send us a picture!

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Free Shipping on Cookies Honoring Children

During Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, shipping is FREE when you send Cookies in Honor of Kids Who Inspire Us . These baked-to-order custom-packed boxes include a hand-picked ribbon color and an insert with the story of an inspiring child. Surprise someone who deserves to know they’re appreciated – the nurses at your pediatrician’s office, the teenager who has been mowing your lawn all summer, your local farmer, or someone who is always going the extra mile. Every box directs 100% of the profits to research at the nation’s leading pediatric cancer centers.

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Cookies Visit Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Filed under: kids fighting cancer — Tags: — The Good Cookies @ 5:00 am August 7, 2015

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It’s time for another #factfriday, and this week, the fact is clear: our team was moved and inspired by a tour of one of our partner centers, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center during a recent trip to New York City.  On July 20th the Cookies Team was joined on this after-hours tour by Christina Tosi, a member of our Board of Directors who is also the owner of Momofuku Milk Bar and a judge of Master Chef, and Karlie Kloss, a Good Cookie supporter and supermodel. The visit to the 9th floor of Memorial Sloan Kettering included meeting nurses, doctors, and families. . .all while delivering cookies to the kids who inspire us daily

 

We always say these are the kids who inspire us. . .and this experience only amplified that sentiment. 

Read below to hear about what the experience meant to each team member.

“Though it wasn’t my first visit to Sloan Kettering or the 9th floor pediatric day hospital, I had not been in nearly 4 ½ years and definitely came in with fresh eyes. This time I noticed how every inch of the floors, walls, and ceilings were designed with kids in mind. I also noticed how energetic every member of the staff was – even late in the day. They all work tirelessly to create a happy, engaging atmosphere for kids and families who would rather be just about anywhere else. The tour reminded me how important every person is who is part of the mission to help kids battling cancer. We’re fighting for kids to be able to simply be kids.” — Emily Fowler, Executive Director

“There were many moments being on the 9th floor of Memorial Sloan Kettering that will stay with me for a long time. Like the way hours and hours went by without anyone noticing. The way so many people in the halls seemed to be smiling when it seemed like they should’ve only been sad. The moment that has stuck with me each day since though, was the moment we met Lena. Lena had been cancer free for a couple of years until a recent discovery of the cancer returning. Lena is the face and the name of who I work to support each day. Meeting kids battling cancer— talking to them, listening to them— it reminded me to keep going— to keep believing that the work Cookies is doing is working.” — Nicole Fiehler, Business Support and Donor Relations

“The visit left me with an even greater sense of purpose in why our work is so important and how there is still so much more to be done.” — Stephanie Chin, Director of Special Events and Development

“The majority of the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer team has a personal connection to childhood cancer but had never visited a pediatric cancer floor before. The innocence of the children stood out to me most – even while battling cancer, they did it with smiles on their faces and positive attitudes. Each making the best they could out of the hospital stay. I think about these smiles and work with more passion than ever to raise funds for pediatric cancer research. These children need us.” — Jamie Gentry, Corporate Relations and Special Events

“Prior to going to MSKCC, I felt I had to mentally prepare myself for all the sadness I would feel while walking those halls. To my surprise, sadness was the last thing I felt. I witnessed more smiles and laughter and most of all, hope! For some of those families, a glimpse of hope is all they have. I strongly believe that our work here at Cookies for Kids’ Cancer gives those families hope; even if it’s an ounce of hope, all the hard work is totally worth that and much more!” — Amanda Troya, Finance

“From the moment I walked through the doors, it was quickly apparent how every single person at MSKCC becomes part of a child and their families lives. From the security guard who greets you, to the person who runs the cafeteria, the pharmacist who prepares the needed drugs to the world renowned doctor who saves lives every single day, these people become part of a families story every day.” — Michelle Riddle, Supporter Relations

 

 

 

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