It’s the second leading cause of death in the United States, and it has plagued the lives of so many people in my life. Both of my great-grandfathers dealt with it. So has my mother. Some of my friends in college lost parents to it. It’s a societal nuisance that seemingly just won’t go away.

It’s cancer. And I hate it.

Cancer seems to be one degree away from personally impacting most everyone. The statistics about its impact on society are staggering. But one of the most heartbreaking facts about the disease is that there are over 40,000 children in America battling cancer right now. Over 13,000 kids are diagnosed each year, and that number is rising.

Out of all the various organizations that help support various forms of cancer, I rarely hear about kids cancer. In fact, I was shocked to find out that only 4 percent of the National Cancer Institute’s budget goes to any kids cancer research. I really began to question and research what support would be available if, God forbid, my boys were ever diagnosed with cancer. In my quest to find a glimmer of hope, I found Larry and Gretchen Witt, founders of Cookies for Kids Cancer.

The Witts started the organization after unfortunately losing their 6-year-old son, Liam, to childhood cancer. Because there was very little funding for pediatric cancer, and consequently no effective treatments for their son, they vowed to increase efforts to raise money for research. 96,000 cookies and over $400,000 later, Cookies for Kids Cancer has greatly impacted the global perspective of childhood cancer research efforts.

Liam would have been celebrating his golden birthday this year: 13 on May 13th.I love this organization because it helps an overlooked but extremely dear part of our society: our kids suffering from cancer. I support Gretchen Witt because she is a mom who lost her child, and my heart goes out to anyone who has ever endured such a tragedy. I also support this venture because it is put together with and by the community. I get so excited when I see the best parts of our global society, and talking to Gretchen earlier this year allowed me to see that our national community, from L.A. to New York, has risen to help her and every family who has been impacted by kids cancer. I am so honored and proud to be in that number.

The scientific community continues to discover things every day. With the funding efforts of every Cookies for Kids Cancer event, more will be done specifically in the realm of cures and prevention of pediatric cancer. I am extremely hopeful, and I am standing with them.

Liam would have been celebrating his golden birthday this year: 13 on May 13th.
Every dollar raised in May is being MATCHED, up to $100,000,
thanks to a generous gift from the Smith Family Foundation.

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