Online Bake Sale: Win cookies from me and support a cause close to my heart

How would you like to receive some fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies from me this week?! Read on…

Fellow food blogger Stephanie, from Steph’s Bite by Bite, has signed up to run the San Diego Rock n’ Roll Marathon as a part of the Team In Training program through The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The Team In Training program provides participants with training and support, and in exchange participants raise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to aid continuing research in the area of blood cancers and to support families who are affected by the diseases.

As a fundraising activity, Stephanie has rounded up a ton of great food bloggers for an online bake sale, auction style. Today, and today only, you can head on over to her site and bid on a baked good that you would like to receive from a food blogger. I always try to help The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society whenever I get the opportunity, as my dad passed away due to a form of leukemia 12 years ago at the age of 45 (more on that below). I am offering up a dozen of my Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies to the lucky winning bidder. They are by far my favorite cookie, and I have not made another chocolate chip cookie recipe since first making these almost three years ago. That should speak for itself!

To bid on these cookies, head on over to the auction site. The sale will close at 9pm EST this evening.

Continue reading to hear about how leukemia has affected my family…

Back in the fall of my senior year of high school (1998) my dad went for routine bloodwork to get his cholesterol checked and the doctor called a few days later and said he needed to go over the results with him. There were irregularities. After some follow-up testing, my dad had his diagnosis: chronic lymphocytic leukemia. My dad was in great shape – woke up early each morning and walked a few miles on the treadmill, had boundless energy and I can’t ever remember him being sick, ever. None of the doctors seemed overly concerned, said they caught it early, and “if you have to have cancer, this is the one to get.” (What a phrase, eh?) The plan was to monitor his bloodwork and eventually they might need to start treatments, but they thought that would be years away.

Things didn’t necessarily go according to plan. Bloodwork found that the disease was progressing quickly and soon my dad began chemo. Through all of his treatments, he still never really got sick, never missed a day of work. But still, the leukemia continued to progress. The doctors said my dad would need a bone marrow transplant. Neither of his brothers were a match, so after a failed attempt to use his own (cleansed) marrow, he went on a donor list. A match was found and he and my mom flew to Boston where he was to have the procedure done.

The transplant was a success and my dad flew through his recovery. He was discharged from the hospital 6 weeks later and he and my mom had to stay in the area for a couple of days so he could have some final doctor’s appointments. The day before they were to come back home my dad woke up with a high fever and was readmitted to the hospital. His body had started to reject the new marrow and numerous complications arose. After a couple of weeks things were looking like they might be headed in the right direction when it was discovered that my dad had a serious lung infection, most likely a result of his brand-new (and not yet super strong) immune system. He fought and fought, but in the end, did not win the battle. I was 19 and a freshman in college, my sister was 16 and a junior in high school, and life changed forever.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society was very instrumental for my mom during the time she spent in Boston. They helped her with flights, helped her find a place to stay while my dad was in the hospital, and directed her and us to countless resources to help with seemingly everything and anything you could imagine that would need tended to. They are a wonderful organization and I always jump at the opportunity to give back for the support they provided my family during a very difficult time.

So, if you would like to receive some homemade cookies from me and support a great cause that means so much to me, head on over to the auction and bid on my cookies! Or any other baked good that tickles your fancy :)

Thank you everyone for your support!

UPDATE: The auction has closed and it raised over $1,700 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society! A great success! Thank you to everyone who took part!