Cookies for kids with cancer

The Band of Parents
December 6, 2007 3:26:02 PM PST
Some families are in the midst of a bake-a-thon for a very dear cause. Eyewitness News reporter Kemberly Richardson is here with more.It started as a simple idea and has now blossomed into a whole movement. They call themselves the band of parents. Their children are all fighting a ferrous type of cancer -- neuroblastoma -- the fatality rate is 70 percent.

There is a treatment available but another more effective one is on the horizon. That's where these determined mothers and fathers step in.

Three-year-old Liam appears to not have a care in the world. This curious little boy's favorite question is why. Something his mother Gretchen also has asked many times ever since doctors told her son had cancer.

"This is the kind of cancer that's called the silent killer," said Lima's mother, Gretchen Witt. "By the time they figure out something is wrong a lot of the cases, it's too late."

Liam is one of roughly 650 kids in the Untied States suffering from neuroblastoma -- an aggressive form of cancer. Only 30 percent of children diagnosed survive but these volunteers are determined to change that by one cookie at a time.

"We are working as fast as we can to raise two million dollars to help fund a treatment that is available to our children," said Lima's mother, Gretchen Witt.

Colleen's kids are healthy but she became fast friends with Gretchen after brainstorming over and idea baking and selling 8000 dozen cookies to help fund a new more effective treatment for neuroblastoma.

"This could be my child and I thought if it was one of mine I would want to do the same," said parent, Colleen Margilott, "So then I jumped in and said oh we can do this."

What they've done is remarkable.

Several times a day the women come here to the Brooklyn NAVY yard to pick up frozen cookie dough from this truck. They hustle it back here where a team bakes, packages and sends out the orders.

They're called the band of parents -- more than 100 strong. All of their children suffer from neuroblastoma and are being treated at Sloan Kettering.

Because so few suffer from this form of cancer, pharmaceutical companies have not committed to mass producing the newer treatment. There's no funding in place. That's about to change.

"While I can understand from a business standpoint, my child is priceless," said Lima's mother, Gretchen Witt. "So I would do anything for my child or any children dealing with this."

Here's the best part. If they sell all of these cookies, 98 percent of the profits go towards the new treatment.

In conjunction with this bake sale. There's also an on-line auction. You have until December 15th to place an order for the cookies.

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