Every day, an average of 43 children in the United States are diagnosed with cancer. Kneaders wants to end that.
For the month of September, Kneaders Bakery & Cafe will be offering elephant-shaped sugar cookies to help fund childhood cancer research.
According to Kneaders, the National Cancer Institute spends 96 percent of its funding on adult cancer research, leaving only 4% for children. Because of this, 100 percent of the proceeds raised from the elephant-shaped cookies will go directly towards childhood cancer research and the Huntsman Cancer Institute.
The cookies are priced at $2.99 each, and are available at all 52 Kneaders locations, including the 16 restaurants in Arizona. Kneaders is hoping to raise more than $50,000, and your donation could help.
The elephant shape for the cookies was inspired by Dr. Joshua Schiffman, who is studying elephants in an effort to find a cure to childhood cancers.
According to Schiffman, elephants have 100 times as many cells as people. Therefore, they should be 100 times more likely to have a cell slip into a cancerous state and trigger the disease over their long life span of 50 to 70 years.
However, elephants have 40 copies of a gene that prevents tumors, while humans only have two. This means that cancer in elephants is very rare.
"I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma as a child," Schiffman said. "I know not only what it's like to be a child facing something that doesn't seem fair or right, but also the worry and angst of a parent given my current role as a doctor."
In addition to purchasing an elephant-shaped sugar cookie, Kneaders guests will be given the opportunity to round up their total to the nearest dollar amount or add any additional amount. These proceeds will also be donated to the Huntsman Cancer Institute in support of Schiffman's childhood cancer research.
Guests can also donate online at kneaders.com/fightcancer.
"Our grandson was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 13," said Kneaders founder Colleen Worthington. "Raising awareness to the increased need for pediatric cancer funding hits extremely close to home."
"We believe it's important to kick-start a conversation around this gap and are proud to do so with the support of HCI and Dr. Schiffman," she said.
Kneaders is located at 135 S. Wilmot Rd. in eastern Tucson, and 3570 N. Craycroft Rd. in northern Tucson. For more information, visit kneaders.com.