Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Blog

Does $5 Million Make a Difference?

Filed under: Good Cookies,Inspire — Tags: , , — The Good Cookies @ 11:03 am November 12, 2013

In a word: YES…

As the holidays approach, we find ourselves embarking on a series of events we look forward to each year. This is the time when our annual grants – the ones made possible by the funds Good Cookies like YOU raise – are awarded. Our Medical Advisory Board reviews the promising proposals submitted, carefully selecting the ones most likely to become safer, more effective therapies for kids.

It’s at this time each year that we are filled with a range of emotions: Gratitude, Hope, Fear…The gratitude is for each person whose efforts have combined to make potentially life-saving projects a reality. The hope is an emotion we share with the families who get a second chance in the form safer, more effective treatments for their children. The fear is because, we can’t help but wonder if we are truly communicating the power of your support. Do you realize what you’ve made possible?

Quite simply, your support powers progress in research. In just 5 years Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has granted $5 million to research. And it’s in the stories of children like Morgan that remind us why we continue to fight – and how together we are making a difference.

Meet Morgan:

In 2008, Morgan was diagnosed with stage-IV high-risk neuroblastoma at the tender age of 5. While in the midst of milestones like starting Kindergarten, Morgan tirelessly fought through 6 rounds of high dose chemo, 2 surgeries, 14 doses of radiation and antibody therapy before showing no evidence of disease (NED).

Unfortunately, since then, Morgan has relapsed three times; twice in her bones and once in her bone marrow. And since then, she has undergone countless more rounds of chemo, radiation and therapy.

Today, Morgan and her family now have a renewed sense of hope, in the form of a promising new treatment…a treatment that Morgan, her family, and Good Cookies like YOU helped fund.

Her mother, Emily, recently wrote to us, saying…

“Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has held a huge part in giving Morgan hope. At age 6, Morgan helped Cookies for Kids’ Cancer raise funds for this very treatment, an antibody known as Hu3F8. Those letters and numbers may not mean anything to the average person, but to us they stand for HOPE. Currently, Morgan is on a two-year clinical trial of Hu3F8. This trial is keeping the cancer at bay, and she is finally able to live life as a normal 10- year-old girl.”

With your support we will continue to help more children like Morgan battle their cancers by helping the nation’s top researchers identify and develop safer, more effective treatments.  We ask that you continue to help us support this critically needed research this holiday season. Here are 3 sweet, simple and even fun ways to make a difference today:

1. Make a donation – You can make a secure, online donation, donate in someone’s honor and even select the specific type of cancer you want your funds to support. At Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, you can trust that your donation goes where it’s most needed – to the researchers and doctors bringing children like Morgan hope.

2. Send cookies or our special holiday sets as gifts – 100% of the profits from all of our cookies goes directly to pediatric cancer research. And our limited edition holiday gift sets are truly special, both including a copy of All the Good Cookies, our 2nd cookbook, in which all author proceeds are donated as well!

3. Host a holiday bake sale or other event – You’re probably baking for the holidays anyways, so why not make your holiday treats even more special? Gather friends and family together to have fun and bake goodies, then offer them in exchange for donations. Host an official event, or simply take treats to the neighbors, even get your kids involved by challenging them to collect change – it all counts and it all makes a difference! Because if we all do a little – it adds up to a lot.

No Time to Wait: Government Shutdown & the Reality of Childhood Cancer

Filed under: blog,Good Cookies,Inspire — Tags: , , , , — The Good Cookies @ 2:35 pm October 15, 2013

As the shutdown further slows childhood cancer advancements, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer founder, Gretchen Holt-Witt speaks out:

As the Founder of a national pediatric cancer nonprofit, I didn’t really expect the current government shutdown to bring awareness to the cause I champion. But then, The Atlantic ran a story on October 1, heralding the “saddest paragraph of the government shutdown.”

Cookies for Kids' Cancer, Op-Ed Letter from Gretchen Holt-Witt on Government ShutdownThe article revealed that, due to the shutdown, 30 children per week scheduled for clinical trials (many of which have cancer) at the National Institutes of Health would not receive treatment. Why? Because the NIH is federally funded, and over 75% of its services are now closed due to the shutdown. So you’re saying that kids’ lives are hanging in the balance due to lack of government funds? Readers were irate – With blood boiling, they found this fact to be entirely unacceptable. But it wasn’t news to me.

Annually, less than 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s budget goes towards research for all childhood cancers combined, which happens to be the #1 disease killer of children in our country. Flip that stat around – over 96% of national funding goes towards adult cancers, leaving our nation’s future and most precious resource with not nearly enough funding for adequate innovation. So are we sitting around, boiling mad, waiting for the government to provide more funds for children? Not for one second.

In 2007, when our 2-year-old son Liam was diagnosed with stage IV cancer, our oncologist told us, “Kids with cancer don’t make headlines.”

That same day, the headlines were filled with news of White House Press Secretary Tony Snow’s cancer diagnosis. Mr. Snow made headlines because he had lived long enough to make a difference in the world. Tragically, children do not have the opportunity to make that impact when they are saddled with a cancer diagnosis. Hence, the lack of headlines featuring kids.

Soon after Liam’s diagnosis, my husband and I learned of a promising new therapy in development at the very same cancer center where Liam was receiving treatment. Only one problem: it needed funding to move from the research lab to the clinic where it would be administered to children. That was the moment we learned there is simply not enough funding from the government to move all research along. And so the cancer center – filled with some of the top oncologists in the world – was depending on individuals and small foundations to fill the gap to help make the potentially life-saving treatment available for children.

My husband and I could not stand by, waiting for government funding. We also refused to wait for others to raise the money. Instead, we started a foundation called Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Our simple mission: to inspire individuals to “Be a Good Cookie™” and raise funds for childhood cancer research.

In five short years, our grassroots supporters that hail from all 50 states and over 4,500 cities world-wide have rolled up their sleeves, raised funds, and ultimately helped fund more than three dozen research projects, with half a dozen now in clinical trials.

Our sense of urgency remains driven by the fact that in August of 2011, we learned that the same promising research in need of funding that sprung us to action was being moved into clinical trial. Our funding helped. It was a small victory in a huge battle. But the taste of success was bittersweet, as it came just 7 months after we lost our precious Liam to this cruel, relentless disease. The treatment that we worked for came to be – just a bit too late for him. We never want another family to feel our endless sense of loss combined with the aching knowledge of what might have been.

So back to those 30 children making headlines while we wait for the federal government . . . if writing a check from funds raised by supporters of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer would help, I would do it right now. As a matter of fact, we tried to cover the cost of treatments for those children. But it’s the federal government, so it’s not quite that simple.

While we cannot open the doors of the NIH for those children, we do not have to sit around and wait for our government to play nicely – like we encourage our children to do. Instead, we must take action. And we’re asking you to do what you can to get involved today. Because no matter what, our headline remains the same: BE A GOOD COOKIE.™

Gretchen Holt-Witt – Founder of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer

One of hundreds. . .

Filed under: Bake Sale — Tags: , , — The Good Cookies @ 7:56 pm October 21, 2008

Be a good cookie. . .like Grier!

Be a good cookie. . .like Grier!

Welcome to the Cookies for Kids’ Cancer blog. Hooray! It’s up! You have no idea how excited we at Cookies for Kids’ Cancer are to post our first bake sale story. Bake sale stories are what we are all about. The entire purpose of this blog is to tell the inspiring and amazing stories of people all over the world (yep, I said it, WORLD) who are holding bake sales to raise money for our cause and our purpose – children’s cancer research and treatment. We hope you find yourself in this spot again and again and again. . .to be inspired and driven to do everything you can to support and spread the word about Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Now, without further adieu. . .the story of a bake sale. . .



Amy Christenbury had two great reasons to host a Cookies for Kids’ Cancer bake sale. The first reason: to help fulfill Cookies founder Gretchen’s birthday wish for 100 people to commit to hosting a bake sale for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer. Amy not only said she would host a bake sale, she recruited her best friend in Wilmington to host one as well (more on that inspiring bake sale soon).

The second reason: Amy’s 4-year-old son Grier is currently fighting his own battle with Neuroblastoma, the same deadly pediatric cancer Gretchen’s son Liam is battling. That’s right – Amy is a warrior mom – she’s in the midst of an enormous battle against a mean and ugly disease. Amy knows the fears, stresses and ongoing anxieties of pediatric cancer all too well. But you know what? Amy also knows she wants to do whatever it takes to raise the funds needed to find better, safer treatments and a cure for all kinds of children’s cancers. So she jumped at the chance to grant Gretchen’s birthday wish.

With the enthusiastic help of members of Team “Go Grier Go,” as well as donations from supporters all over Charlotte, Amy hosted a bake sale the weekend of September 20-21, during the annual Festival in the Park located just across the street from her house. Pedestrian traffic going in and out of the festival bought everything from lemon bars and bright blue cupcakes to bottles of water. At the end of the marathon, two-day bake sale, Amy’s bake sale team had raised over $2000. And guess what? Her husband’s company is planning to MATCH dollar-for-dollar the funds raised. Now we’re talking about AMAZING cookies.

Here are some of the “Go Grier Go!” team’s tips for a successful bake sale:

  1. Shout it from the rooftops! Tell people in advance about your bake sale – when, where, why. Send out an email letting everyone know and get them to forward it on!
  2. Make life easier and use the files on the Cookies website to make signs, posters, stickers and labels for your bake sale. Go to Staples or Kinkos to make them larger. Great signs attract more customers.
  3. Ask your local bake shops to donate their leftovers to the sale. Two local shops were willing to help.
  4. Label ALL cookies. People will ask what everything is, so save your voice and make labels.
  5. KEEP IT SIMPLE when you bake – stick with the standbys. Chocolate chip cookies were by far the favorite.
  6. NO nuts! Many people have severe peanut allergies. Keep your bake sale peanut, pecan and walnut free to avoid losing customers.
  7. Decorate the goodies – bright colors on cookies and cupcakes attract kids.
  8. Cake slices are popular. If whole cakes are not selling, slice them into individual servings.
  9. RECRUIT KIDS! They have energy and can sell anything. They love to help so let them be your cheerleaders!

Amy’s bake sale is one of hundreds of bake sales we plan to feature on this blog. Grier is one of hundreds and thousands of kids we are in this fight for. YOU are one of hundreds who will make a difference in the fight against pediatric cancer. We hope you come back. . .