My name is Blakely Colvin and I am now 18 years old and a chemo survivor. I know first hand how hard and long chemotherapy is. I personally designed Cupcakes for Cancer, when I was 13 years old, because I heard about another 8th grader, Kevin, in our town that had just been diagnosed with leukemia. I wanted to help his family, but most of all I thought... if I could just put a smile on Kevin's face, it would be so awesome! I combined my love of cupcakes-especially baking and eating them and my desire to make a difference.
My plan was simple– bake plenty of homemade cupcakes and sell them once a week after school for $1. My parents helped me get a huge banner printed stating my cause “Cupcakes for Cancer” with my motto “Children making a sweet difference one crumb at a time!”. We had aprons printed up to wear when we sold cupcakes. With the help of my family and friends we raised $5,000 in just 6 weeks! The success of the cupcake bake sales surprised everyone, even me! Cupcakes for Cancer had started out just as a way to help a one kid suffering from cancer -but it became so much more! When I first met Kevin he was so sad, he had just been diagnosed, had to quit his youth football team and already had lost his hair. We had an instant bond. There is a comradeship that the experience of chemotherapy gives us kids. Over the next weeks the happiness that my cupcake sales brought Kevin was “priceless”. Kevin would help us frost and decorate zillions of cupcakes! He even rode in parades, with us cupcake girls, with his bald head! On his good days he would show up at our cupcake tent at Pirate high school football games, wear an apron and smile! We hung his football jersey from the cupcake tent in honor of him! I believe the whole idea of Cupcakes for Cancer, (designed by another chemo surviving kid) absolutely gave Kevin HOPE during a really tough time in his life. None of it was really about the money, it was about the HOPE people bring to each other. Treatment and medicine save us from horrible disease, but HOPE is what gets us through. HOPE keeps us going, it makes us believe things will get better, it is irreplaceable! Providing HOPE is exactly what my simple cupcake idea did for Kevin and it had a ripple effect in our community and in me! The feeling that came form helping was really awesome -it made me not want to stop donating! My friends and I planned a party for Kevin and I presented him with the check. I had really put a smile on Kevin’s face and made a difference in his life and in mine too!
Next, my parents helped Cupcakes for Cancer become a real non-profit, so I could keep baking and donating. After Kevin, I decided I wanted to raise money for Make@Wish Foundation of the Tri counties- because I had a wish when I was sick from this chapter of MAWF. I got to go to Alantis, in the Bahama's, with my family, to swim with the dolphin's and slide down waterslides in shark invested waters! 2008 my mom and I kept baking and organizing tons of cupcake bake sales all over town, at events like high school sporting events, ballet performances, parades etc... Cupcakes for Cancer raised $16,000 that year -enough to grant 3 wishes for 3 sick children! I knew then I did NOT ever want to stop donating! 2009, I kept donating to Make@Wish but also wanted to start donating to The TeddyBear Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara-which provides emotional and financial support to families with children battling cancer and to CureSearch-a national pediatric cancer research organization. I kept baking and selling cupcakes under my pink cupcake tent but I also created a national outreach campaign called "Frosting Hope Across America", to inspire others to bake and donate too. Frosting Hope Across America really did just that! Kids and people from all over the country started emailing us and we send them one of our signature aprons and ideas on how to start helping Cupcakes for Cancer with their own cupcake sales. My idea was to empower people by inspiring them to take action and do something for others! These volunteers are called Cupcake Angels. Money raised by out of state Cupcake Angels benefit CureSearch. Cupcakes for Cancer has Cupcakes Angels in over 12 different states and about 40 Cupcake Angels in California. We even have kids that have started Cupcakes for Cancer clubs at their high school! My goal is to get at least one Cupcake Angel from all 50 states and to raise $100,000 before I graduate high school in 2012!
I can't belive that my cupcake idea, that in the beginning was just to help Kevin, has grown into something so important. It is amazing that all the dollar cupcake's have added up to so much! Since I started Cupcakes for Cancer we have raised $120,000, granted 9 wishes, donated $20,000 toThe Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara, $37,000 to Community Wellness Center in Westlake, & to Band of Parents for pediatric cancer research for Neuroblastoma. Our cupcake funds have also been used to donate three $1,000 college scholarships (that i got to hand select) to deserving high school seniors from my high school!