Growing up, one of my favorite things to do was to bake cakes with my cousin Lindsay and her mom- my Aunt Jodi. Of course that was because my Aunt Jodi let me lick the bowl after we were done. Every time I walked into their house I immediately could smell a cake baking in the oven and would run straight to the kitchen to see if there was any mixing I could do. I loved spending the day singing and eating cake with my two favorite people. This tradition of baking cakes with my Aunt and Cousin continued for many years and I still keep these memories close to my heart each and every day.
In September of 2015 My Aunt Jodi, after fighting for two long years, passed away from lung cancer. She shared her heart with each and every person she met, and she leaves behind a legacy that will carry on forever; her love!
In her memory I decided I was going to start a club at my school to raise money to help find a cure for lung cancer and to spread awareness about this terrible disease. Cakes for Cancer is a way for me to honor my Aunt’s life and help to find a cure so that others hopefully will never have to go through what my Aunt did.
I knew that I would not be able to complete this task alone, so I called my cousin Lindsay, creator of the incredible baking blog "Sprinkles for Breakfast" and the two of us quickly got to work.
Most clubs at Marymount have around 10- 20 members, but on the day of sign ups 116 out of the 400 girls at our school signed up to join for Cakes for Cancer! Two weeks later, Cakes for Cancer was contacted by the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation wanting to know more about our small but growing club. Cakes for Cancer is so honored to have joined forces with one of the leading cancer centers in the country- a group of amazing people who are incredibly passionate about finding a cure for cancer.
In December of 2015 Cakes for Cancer had its very first bake sale at the Pacific Palisades Farmer's Market. We ended up selling out of cakes and made $600. In February of 2016 we held a bake sale at Marymount High School, where we made close to $500. I guess you could say that girls love to eat cake! We have also been featured in newspapers, on KNX 1070 radio station, and on CBS Channel 2 News. Additionally, we have had some of the most famous bakers in the Los Angeles area donate cakes for us to sell including: Susie Cakes, Duff’s Cake Mix, Cookie Good, The Butter End Bakery, Thyme Café, and Sprinkles for Breakfast. To date Cakes for Cancer has raised over $32,000, and every dime has been donated to the UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center Foundation with the hope of finding a cure.
In September of 2016 my younger sister Amelia and her two best friends, Cydney and Dylan, started a second chapter of Cakes for Cancer at the Archer School for Girls. It is our goal that every high school in America will have a branch of Cakes for Cancer -- that kids all across the country will start "baking a difference" to help find a cure.
Sadly it’s not uncommon for most people to know somebody that has had to mount a battle against cancer. In April of 2016 I found out that my beloved Grandmother Ilene had been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer. However, after battling for 13 months, in April of 2017, my Grandmother passed away. And now the mission of Cakes for Cancer becomes even more clear. There are thousands and thousands of people fighting out there, and we are here to fight with you- one cake at a time.
We hope that Cakes for Cancer will not only help to raise money for finding a cure, but that it will be a place where those fighting with this terrible disease can come together, whether they be patients or loved ones. For everyone who is fighting just know that you’re not alone.
Jodi and my Grandmother had always filled me with confidence, pushing me to try new things and explore the world, while always reminding me to love life along the way. As I head to college in the fall I will continue to love life and search for ways to make a difference, because that's the best recipe that my Aunt and Grandmother ever taught me. To never stop believing that anything is possible. As long as you have a little bit of hope and a lot of cake.
Please help us bake a difference in raising money to find a cure for lung cancer. We promise that there will be lots of cake!
Abby Nathanson (Cakes for Cancer Marymount High School President)
Amelia Nathanson (Cakes for Cancer Archer School President)
Cydney Johnsonn (Cakes for Cancer Archer School Vice-president)
Dylan Marmur (Cakes for Cancer Archer School Vice-president)