Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Blog

Inspired by Ty: Gregg Bard Gears Up To Run 52.4 Miles

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Good Cookies @ 2:30 pm July 13, 2015

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer supporter, Gregg Bard, finds his motivation and passion to run San Francisco’s Ultramarathon – 52.4 miles – from Ty, an 8-year-old boy battling cancer. Inspiration to make a difference for kids everywhere battling cancer brought Gregg and Ty together this past week in NYC. Their meeting is one Gregg will never forget.  Passionate about the cause, Gregg says he “wanted to have something to really keep me going for all 52.4 miles. As tough a challenge as this race is, it is nothing compared to what the tough little cookies go through on a daily basis having to deal with cancer.”

Read more about Gregg’s inspiring story on his blog and then make a donation to childhood cancer research in honor Ty.


Fact Friday Inspiration

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Good Cookies @ 5:00 am July 3, 2015

As you kick off your 4th of July weekend, we wanted Fact Friday to have its own BANG. Thanks to your support, in just 6 years, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer granted more than $7 million to kids’ cancer research. All that from Good Cookies! But what does $7 million in grants mean for kids? It means funding 6-dozen research projects – 27 of which are treatments available to children currently battling cancer.

Dr. Shakeel Modak, from one of our partner centers Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, is just one of the many doctors who has received funds from Cookies for Kids’ Cancer for his research. He is a pediatric oncologist who specializes in the treatment of children and young adults with neuroblastoma and other solid tumors, such as desmoplastic small round cell tumors. Dr. Modak recognizes these are challenging cancers to treat and hopes to be able make an impact and improve the lives of people diagnosed with these diseases. Read below for his own words:

Dr. Modak Final

So never doubt that your dollars are truly making a difference in children’s lives TODAY.

Fact Friday, June 26th!

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Good Cookies @ 5:00 am June 26, 2015

Did you know each year nearly 14,000 children in the US are diagnosed with cancer, and that this very minute, nearly 40,000 kids are receiving cancer treatments? Cancer claims the lives of more kids in the US annually than asthma, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, and muscular dystrophy combined. With only a small percentage of federal funds going to support childhood cancer treatment research, there is a dire need for fundraising, which is why Cookies for Kids’ Cancer exists.

Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is proud to have provided grants to Dr. Kimberly Stegmaier, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, an Attending Physician at the Boston Children’s Hospital Boston, and Co-Director of the Pediatric Hematologic Malignancy Program at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (DFCI), one of our partner centers. In 2006, she launched her own laboratory effort at DFCI where she integrates chemical biology, genomic, and proteomic approaches to discover new lead compounds and protein targets for cancer therapy. She has focused her efforts on the acute leukemias and two pediatric solid tumors of childhood, Ewing sarcoma and neuroblastoma. Read below what Dr. Stegmaier has to say about the support from Cookies for Kids’ Cancer – without your help this wouldn’t be possible!

jDr. Kimberly Final

Thank Goodness It’s Fact Friday!

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Good Cookies @ 1:56 pm June 19, 2015

The Fact Friday detail everyone should remember: childhood cancer is the #1 disease killer of children in the United States, but raising funds for research through Cookies for Kids’ Cancer gives families facing this disease the hope they deserve.

Today, we introduce you to Dr. Charles Mullighan, member of the faculty and co-leader of the Hematological Malignancies Program at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, one of our five partner centers.  Dr. Mullighan has received numerous awards and honors for his cancer research, and is particularly interested in the use of high-resolution, genome-wide approaches to identify genomic aberrations contributing to leukemogenesis and influencing leukemia outcome. Read below to see how funding from Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has supported his research.

Dr. Charles Mullighan

As we close this Fact Friday post, we not only want to take a moment to honor all of our Good Cookie doctors but also all of our Good Cookie Dads.  We hope you all have a Happy Father’s Day.

It’s Fact Friday, June 12

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Good Cookies @ 5:00 am June 12, 2015
While there are many types of childhood cancers, Leukemia is the most common cancer in children and teens, which accounts for approximately 1 out of 3 cancers. Most childhood leukemias are acute lymphocytic leukemia, referred to as ALL, and most of the remaining cases are acute myeloid leukemia or AML.
For today’s Fact Friday, we introduce you to Dr. Hiroto Inaba, Associate Member of the Oncology Department at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.  He is particularly interested in researching new therapeutic strategies for leukemia and lymphoma and cellular therapy for hematological malignancies. Currently he is researching treatments for a very rare type of leukemia called mixed phenotype acute leukemia. Read below to see what he has to say about his research.
Dr. Inaba
 Check back next Friday to learn more about childhood cancers and how your dollars are helping make a different in the fight!

Fact Friday, June 5

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Good Cookies @ 5:00 am June 5, 2015

Each year, approximately 13,500 children will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States in 2015. As childhood cancer rates continue to rise from past decades, the need for pediatric cancer research and treatment is immediate.  Since 2008, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has funded nearly 6 DOZEN childhood cancer research grants, leading to two dozen promising new treatments now in clinical trial, available TODAY to children fighting cancer!

Dr. Peter Zage, today’s feature for Fact Friday, is one of the researchers awarded grant funding from Cookies for Kids’ Cancer in 2014. Dr. Zage is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics Hematology-Oncology Section at Baylor College of Medicine. He is especially focused on the efficacy of novel therapies for children with neuroblastoma, retinoblastoma, and other childhood solid tumors.

Here’s what he has to say about the support from Cookies for Kids’ Cancer:

Dr. Zage

To learn more about all the grants from Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, take a peek at Our Impact page. And don’t forget to join us every Friday as we highlight other Good Cookie doctors who are making a difference in the fight against childhood cancer.

Happy Fact Friday, May 29

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Good Cookies @ 5:00 am May 29, 2015

Did you know that only 4% of funding for cancer research from the federal government goes to children? With pediatric cancer being the #1 disease killer of kids in the US, more money must go to research for children. . .which is 100% the reason Cookies for Kids’ Cancer exists.

This week, for our Fact Friday post, we are pleased to introduce you to Dr. Stephen Gottschalk, Professor and Director of the Basic & Translational Research Division of Texas Children’s Cancer Center. Dr. Gottschalk is a member of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy (CAGT) and the Brain Tumor Research Program with clinical interests in Bone Marrow Transplantation, Cell and Gene Therapy, and Cancer Immunotherapy.

Dr. Gottschalk has received multiple grants from Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, with the most recent being part of our biggest year of grants to date – 2014. Here’s what he has to say about the support from Cookies for Kids’ Cancer:

Dr. Gottschalk FinalWith your support, the grants provided to doctors like Dr. Gottschalk are truly making a difference in providing more effective, less toxic treatments for childhood cancer. To learn more about all the grants from Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, take a peek at Our Impact page. And don’t forget to join us every Friday as we highlight other Good Cookie doctors who are making a difference in the fight against childhood cancer.

It’s Fact Friday, May 22

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Good Cookies @ 5:00 am May 22, 2015

It’s Fact Friday – the series we plan to run throughout the summer to share the facts of childhood cancer. Some weeks will feature information about the disease or stories about the need for funding. Other weeks, we will share quotes from doctors who have received grants thanks to your generous support.

This week, please meet Dr.  Nai-Kong Cheung, Head of the Neuroblastoma Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Dr. Cheung is a pediatric oncologist who specializes in immunologic approaches for the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric cancers. His main focus is the treatment of neuroblastoma, a tumor that arises from primitive cells of the sympathetic nervous system and that primarily affects young children.  Dr. Cheung has received grants from Cookies for Kids’ Cancer many times over, including funds raised from the 96,000 cookies sold in 2007 back when Cookies for Kids’ Cancer was launched. The funds from that first Good Cookie effort helped turn his research into a treatment that has been available to patients since August 2011.

Dr. Cheung FINAL

Dr. Cheung’s work brings to life our mission – to fund new, improved, less toxic therapies for childhood cancer. Join us every Friday for these weekly insights. . .and a bit of inspiration too as you learn how your donations are making a difference in the fight against childhood cancer.

A Mother’s Love

Filed under: Uncategorized — The Good Cookies @ 11:24 am May 8, 2015

Gretchen with Baby LiamMy friend Rachel Graff Kirkham asked me to write a guest post for her blog for Mother’s Day. To be honest, I didn’t want to do it. I haven’t written a blog post since my snuggle bunny died. It’s too hard. It’s too scary. My muse and the whole reason why I started writing in the first place is no longer here. I have been afraid to trust my feelings and share my thoughts. I have been afraid that I didn’t have anything to say that anyone would want to read. I have been afraid that now that I’ve suffered the greatest loss any mommy can suffer, anything I write would be a downer and turn people away, not inspire them to get involved. When Liam was here, the Prince Liam the Brave blog served as a way to update people on his battle against cancer. His indomitable spirit was so inspiring. His face was irresistibly cute. His squeaky voice stopped people in their tracks. His loss is still very present and raw for me. In fact, just writing these words about him makes my heart swell with love and sorrow. He was just shy of his 7th birthday when he died. His birthday was close enough that he was already making plans for how he wanted to celebrate. His birthday is coming up in a few days on May 13th. He would be 11. I wonder what he’d be like as an 11 year old. But I digressed…a friend asked me to help her out and, well, as anyone who knows me knows….I have a hard time saying no.  So, I said I’d try to come up with something for her. And then I started counting sheep because I couldn’t sleep. What did I get myself into? What if I couldn’t find any words to say? What if nothing I wrote made sense to anyone other than me, the mommy with the broken heart? What if having a broken heart meant anything I had to say would be tainted? I don’t know if I do have anything to say, but I’m giving it a shot. 

 I don’t know if this is “good” or something anyone will want to read. But it’s from my heart to yours on Mother’s Day.

 XO x Million, Gretchen

On May 13th, 2004 I became a mother. Liam was born 5 weeks early, on a Thursday, three days before Mother’s Day. From the moment I saw him, I knew what the true meaning of life was about and also that life as I knew it would never be the same. Life was about someone else. Life was about giving life. Life was about taking care of my baby boy with a button nose and face so cute that it nearly brought me to tears every time I looked at him. Life was about loving with every fiber of my being.

Liam spent about 10 days in the NICU, and I spent those days sitting next to his incubator talking to him, stroking his body to make sure he could feel his mommy touching him and thinking about his future and everything it had to hold. That first Mother’s Day feels like a lifetime ago. That first Mother’s Day feels like yesterday. That first Mother’s Day, when I was less than a week into motherhood, I knew my job was to protect my sweet baby boy.

When Liam was diagnosed with stage IV cancer less than three years later – on February 26th, 2007 – being a mommy took on a new meaning. I was now fighting for my child’s life. Fighting for my child’s life. How did that happen? How did my sunny, funny sweet baby boy have the very disease that claims the lives of more children than any other? I breastfed him for a year. I ate the right foods. I didn’t do any of the things people associate with cancer from getting sunburns to smoking. I did everything I was supposed to do and didn’t cut corners on anything. But here I was in a place I never in a million years could have dreamed – fighting for the life of my son, my only son and his sister Ella’s only sibling, against a disease I couldn’t see and hadn’t detected other than a mother’s gut intuition that something wasn’t quite right with my picky eater.

The role of being a mother became one of lioness, protector and advocate.

The Mother’s Days we marked during his battle with cancer were vibrantly poignant. Liam’s birthday and Mother’s Day are always close to each other. The day of Liam’s birthday, the reason I became a mommy, usually falls within days of the day on which moms are celebrated. Each Mother’s Day during his battle took on a whole new meaning. Instead of a day that celebrated me as “the mom,” I thought about how lucky I was to even be a mommy. It wasn’t about me, but about my children and the gift they gave me. And motherhood is a gift of and for the heart and soul.

And then Liam’s battle was over. And the world became very dark.

My snuggle bunny was gone. Forever.

And I didn’t understand why I was a mother.

I couldn’t even do the most basic thing I’m supposed to do as a mother: protect my child.

It was 2011. The year that Liam’s birthday and Mother’s Day fell on the same day.

It was so cruel. Or was it?

Maybe it was a sign to keep going in honor of my snuggle bunny.

My daughter Ella has given me the gift of experiencing motherhood in a completely different way than I ever could have imagined. In her gentle wisdom that no child her age should have, Ella taught me to learn to love life through a new lens and live with loss. We wade through the landscape of loss and are there for each other in a very special way.

I often wonder if it would have been better to have not become a mother in order to protect myself from the searing pain I feel each morning when I wake up and realize it’s not a bad dream – Liam really isn’t here. But with that pain comes the privilege of always being Liam’s and Ella’s mommy. And it’s the gift of being their mommy that has given me the strength and conviction to do everything I can to help other mommies love their snuggle bunnies by doing everything I possibly can to battle the cowardly foe that preys on our children.

Being a mother gave me a gift of love so great that I want to move mountains. I am so grateful to have been given that gift first by Liam and then Ella. Being a mother for me means I will live the rest of my life trying to do anything and everything I can to help other mothers by funding research into treatments that can give children hope. I have to. It’s what Liam would want me to do. And when I finally see him again, I know it’s the very first question he’ll have for me after we hug and kiss and kiss and hug and hug and kiss…. “Mommy, did you make it better for others?”

Liam, thank you for giving me the gift of motherhood. Because of you, every day is Mother’s Day.

Mommy loves you.

Mommy misses you, Snuggle Bunny. Thank you for giving me the greatest gift life has to offer.

Share the Love with Cookies

Filed under: Inspire — The Good Cookies @ 9:35 am January 30, 2015

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 WittLove 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?”

A Transcending Love…

Photo Jan 24, 2 35 06 PMReaching 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   YouTubeA Legacy of Love…

Liam’s love continues to inspire us and people everywhere. Since 2008, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has granted more than $5 million to pediatric cancer research, funding four dozen projects and helping seven promising new treatments advance to clinical trial.

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.

Three simple way to help this Valentine’sShare the Love cookies 2 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.  As a thank you, Bormioli Rocco is sending a limited edition keepsake Fido jar to the first 100 Good Cookies they inspire to host an event. #BeAGoodCookie



« Newer PostsOlder Posts »