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Cookie Exchange Friday to Benefit Ashburn, Leesburg Childhood Cancer Funds

Resident touched by local cases decides to take action with event at Mill Run.

Friday's Cookies for Childhood Cancer event benefits organizations tied to Loudoun children.
Friday's Cookies for Childhood Cancer event benefits organizations tied to Loudoun children.

Like many mothers, Ashburn resident Laura Hoyler was aware of local children enduring childhood cancer, but never really understood what it meant for their families. That all changed a few years ago when, Declan Carmical, the sibling of her child’s classmate fell ill. Now she hopes Friday’s Cookies for Childhood Cancer event at Mill Run Elementary School can help families struggling with the disease.

Hoyler began to read Declan’s mother’s blog, Declan’s Journey.

“I guess never really understood the severity of childhood cancer before, or I chose not to think about it,” Hoyler said, adding that she remembers seeing fliers at church about Taylor Love’s ordeal with cancer. “I don’t think that I really truly knew what these children had to endure during treatment. It really opened my eyes.”

Then her son’s reading buddy at school, Gavin Rupp, was diagnosed cancer. Then she heard about Mathias Giordano and Gabriella Miller, both of Leesburg. Declan died in 2010. Gavin and Gabriella passed away earlier this year.

Hoyler began writing about children who had gone through or were going through treatment for cancer.

“It is always in my mind somewhere,” she said.

Recently, her husband asked her what action she planned to take. Friday’s cookie exchange, dubbed Cookies for Childhood Cancer, is her answer. And it has taken off. First planned at the Broadlands Community Center, Hoyler said she had to move it to the gym at Mill Run Elementary School.

“Everyone wanted to help,” Hoyler said.

The idea is based on your typical school bake sale. And in addition to the sweet treats, Manhattan Pizza will be available as well as more than $8,000 in silent auction items. Face painting and cake walks are also planned as well as a station for writing letters to Santa.

The proceeds will be equally divided among the organizations attached to Declan, Gabriella, Gavin and Mathias: Journey 4 A CureSmashing Walnuts, I Promise 15 and Team Mathias, respectively.

So don’t miss the opportunity get some great cookies, brownies, cupcakes and more, while benefiting organizations created to raise awareness and research money.

Want to help? There’s still time to volunteer your face-painting skills. Several face-painting slots are open.

In addition, organizers will collect items that Journey 4 A Cure will place in boxes sent to children undergoing cancer treatments in hospitals. Needed items include: iTunes gift cards, Chapstick (kids’ lips get very dry during treatment), small bottles of Purell, soft/fuzzy socks of all sizes, small books, journals, coloring books, crayons, small toys, puzzles, small Lego boxes, small stuffed animals. A donation box will be set up for these items.

What: Cookies for Childhood Cancer
When: 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13
Where: Mill Run Elementary School gym, 42940 Ridgeway Drive Ashburn, VA 20148

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