This is definitely my most bittersweet post I’ve written. But my blog followers and the entire cottage baking community, has been SO incredibly supportive, I want to share. Today marks the one-year anniversary of our son, Owen’s, leukemia diagnosis. I can’t believe it’s been a year; it feels like yesterday and 10 years ago all at the same time. We have been through SO much over the last year and while we’re not celebrating a cancer diagnosis, we are celebrating making it a year. At this time last year, we did not know what was going to happen in the next hour, day or month. We were living minute to minute. The road has been very bumpy, with many winding turns, unexpected detours, and the darkest, scariest days of our lives. But here we are! Owen is in remission, still with 18 months of treatment left, but we are SO grateful for every day. I am confident that this will just be a part of Owen’s story and he will live a long, healthy life and do incredible things. He is definitely my hero.
Not Just Any Cookies
I also want to share these simple cancer awareness cookies, because these cookies are unlike any other cookies. When I look at these cookies, I think of the fundraiser Owen’s baseball club held where his sister sold these cookies to raise funds for his care. I also think of how many she sold for Children’s Cancer Awareness Month last September to donate to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. You never think a cancer awareness ribbon is going to be a part of your life, until it is. Cancer ribbons represent hope, love and support; the three things you need most when you’re in the trenches.
We have been honored to be able to provide these ribbon cookies for other families fighting their own battles. It’s always a little bittersweet getting those requests; it hurts to know someone else is battling, but you also want to help in any way you can. And while it’s sad that there are so many different color ribbons to represent so many different diseases, it also represents so many ways you can help.
How Can You Help?
As cottage bakers in your communities, remember that you have the power to really help those who need it or other worthy causes. Often times, bakers hear of a friend, family member or someone in the community who is struggling, and they want to help. I can tell you firsthand, the affected family does not know what they need; they can’t think past an hour ahead of them. In my opinion, one of the best ways to help is to let them know you’re there, but then take it upon yourself to help in a way you know best. Bake something meaningful, whether it’s cancer ribbons or something else beautiful. Rally your community to raise funds and support for the family or the cause. Regardless of the family’s financial status, a new diagnosis brings upon a lot of unplanned expenses. Let me tell you, when someone takes it upon themselves to do something meaningful for your family without you even knowing, it’s magical. It gives you a boost of strength to keep fighting when you know everyone is behind you.
Maybe your way of helping has nothing to do with baking or raising funds and that is perfectly fine too! But in this age of so much negativity in the world, I do encourage you to consider how you can help someone who is struggling in your best way. I promise it will lift you up just as much as them.
I’ve seen many beautiful cancer awareness ribbon goods – cakes, cupcakes and so much more. The talents and artistry of the cottage baking community never cease to amaze me! However, if you are interested in making ribbon cookies, HERE is the cookie cutter we use. We’ve made these using both our favorite vanilla and chocolate sugar cookie recipes. Everyone always loves them, and they mean so much.
Use Your Gifts
You are more gifted and talented than you think, don’t ever take those gifts for granted. What comes easy to you may be something that is nearly impossible for others. Use those gifts to make the world brighter and it will come back to you ten-fold. And don’t ever stop doing or chasing what brings you joy. Your whole world could change in any moment, so please don’t waste time, it’s the only thing you can’t buy.
Our family is so incredibly grateful for all the love, prayers and support we have received. We will continue paying the love, prayers and support forward to others who need it. Cheers to our special, amazing boy making it through the first year! Cancer messed with the wrong kid!