Cookies for Kids’ Cancer Blog

What Valentine’s Day Means To Us – A Legacy of Love

Filed under: childhood cancer research — The Good Cookies @ 2:43 am February 14, 2018

January 24th marked seven years since Liam Witt’s battle with cancer came to an end. On Valentine’s Day 2011, more than 1,000 people gathered at a cathedral in New York City to celebrate the life of Liam Witt, the inspiration behind the Good Cookie movement. 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,” they knew they 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 continued to inspire 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 and Larry thought of ways to raise funds for a promising new treatment. They realized they 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 and Larry baked and sold 96,000 cookies – in person, online, any way possible – 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?”

Photo Jan 24, 2 35 06 PM

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 $15 million, funding 100 research projects, including 37 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. To learn more about how you can Be a Good Cookie and help fund new, improved, and less toxic treatments for childhood cancer, visit

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