Just the sound of those two syllables can suck the air out of the room and right out of your lungs. When it sits in the room with you---or in you, or in your child---well, I'm not sure there are adequate words.
I doubt that anyone among us can say that they don't know anyone at all who has had the air sucked out of their lungs, or at least knows someone who has. The statistics are frightening, staggering.
I know cancer fairly well.
It took my grandparents. All of them.
It took a dear, dear friend.
It took my brother.
Now, I am an only child.
And my parents? I am not a parent of a human, so I honestly cannot even imagine. But I saw. And heard. So I know without knowing, and even that is, at times, overwhelming.
All is not bleak, though. Far from it. People have a need to understand and to fix and to heal. To push back that dread visitor and bar it from entering ever again.
There is no solid cure.
But there is hope. There are movements. And there are people for whom a diagnosis or even a death does not signal an end but the beginning of another movement. Folks made partly of magic for whom an end is a rallying cry; a call to action.
We don't know how strong we are until we need to know.
Cancer hit home for two OXO employees (called OXOnians---I love that) when their young son was diagnosed. They founded Cookies for Kids' Cancer in response to their son's diagnosis. Through bake sales---of two dozen cookies to two thousands dozen---they are raising money to support research into defeating pediatric cancers.
Liam is no longer here. Liam fought for four long years---fully two thirds of his too-short life. But that's the thing about a movement. Oftentimes tragedy begets resolve. This year OXO will donate up to $100,000 to Cookies for Kids' Cancer through the proceeds of "be a good cookie" spatula sales and bake sale proceeds matching. This is what happens when a movement gathers steam. Has a laser-focused goal. Takes on a life of its own. Through Cookies for Kids' Cancer, Liam is still very much here and is doing wonderful things.
Has cancer sucked the breath from your lungs? Has it signaled ends or the beginnings of new normals? Do you want to be a part of this movement? A movement that, though started in breathless sorrow, sows Hope and Joy and Cookies. Comfort. And money which is sorely needed to help fund research.
Some movements require running. Or at least walking. And at least one wants us to Race. Cookies for Kids' Cancer gives us bakers something to do. We may not know how to find a cure. And we might not want to run, let alone Race. But we know how to bake.
Here's what you can do. What we can do. Host a Bake Sale. Bake a dozen cookies; take them to work; sell them for a dollar apiece. Bake two dozen. Organize a neighborhood cookie sale. Or one at your kids' school. Or at your place of worship. Sell them outside the grocery store. Tell people what the money is for. Tell them about Liam. And about his parents. And about their work family, the lovely OXO folks, who put their weight and their pledge behind a movement. So now word is out. Now you know.
Bake. Sell. Give. Do.
From Liam's Family.
*I learned about Cookies for Kids' Cancer from the OXO representative at the Mixed Conference for Food Bloggers this past weekend. She spoke passionately about Liam's family and about the organization. She spoke as an OXO employee, but she also spoke as herself, as a person whose dear friends had the air sucked right out of their lungs but chose hope rather than to stop breathing. We food bloggers were asked to help spread the word about Cookies for Kids' Cancer. Which I would have done anyway even if we hadn't been asked.
This is an Amazon affiliate link, so if you purchase the spatula through this link, I will receive a few cents on the dollar. Normally I'd use that money to help feed our kittens. For each spatula purchased here though, I will match the affiliate earnings and then donate that money to Cookies for Kids' Cancer. Thank you.