This is Collin.
Collin is only a year out of kindergarten.
Collin has beat cancer once.
Collin is now battling cancer again.
Collin is still smiling.
Be more like Collin.
"Life isn't fair" is a saying I try to avoid because often times it's used so loosely. Like..."I got a parking ticket! Life isn't fair!" It really carries no weight. When I met Collin and his dad, Ed, a few weeks ago, I left that day saying defiantly to myself that life just is NOT fair. But I decided I could actually do something about it.
We met on one of their visits to Spark Social SF, a food park near the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital where Collin is currently being treated so they like to come by and see the new food vendors coming through. They stopped by to get some cookie dough from my company, DOUGHP. After they finished, they came back and we started talking a bit and Ed shared Collin's story.
In April 2015, Collin was discharged from the hospital after battling Medulloblastoma. He made it two years with no additional complications and a near-full recovery. Unfortunately, early last month, a radiology check-in found new evidence of tumor cells at his lower spine and inside his ventricles. Collin's situation is unique because of the recurrence taking place outside of the original location and because of the two separate locations being relatively far apart. Both areas are inoperable. Because of the nature of his disease, it is likely that there is cancer elsewhere in the cerebro-spinal fluid and/or central nervous system.
With this unsettling news, his family pressed forward and found a rare and very limited clinical study at the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital. They applied and Collin was accepted off the waiting list and they made it out to San Francisco at the end of last month.
So they're here for a 6-week trial. As his dad said to me, "This is our last hope." (Please, get me the tissues.) He said he wants Collin to have the best time possible between treatments so they've been hitting the town around SF - giants games, food parks, you name it!
After we spoke a bit about Collin that night, he said how much he loved the cookie dough and asked if we could take a photo together. When he emailed it to me the next day, I got to thinking about how I could help bring an even bigger smile to Collin's face.
I asked Ed what Collin's favorite candy was and we surprised Collin the next week with a "Collin's Special" up on the DOUGHP menu, specially packed for him with an M&M cookie dough.
In an effort to help their family, I am selling "The Collin" M&M cookie dough and donating 10% of proceeds back to their GoFundMe page we began. I started DOUGHP a mere two months ago, and I had no idea it would give me the opportunity to meet such a special family and to help in a greater capacity than previously possible.
It's unbelievable what hardship one family can endure - but truly remarkable to have the upbeat perspective and positive spirit this family has. They're dealing with so much - together we can alleviate at least some of the monetary pains they're facing. The medical expenses for what Collin has gone through are astronomical - not to mention they're living expenses are now facing SF prices - a steep hike compared to their home in Arizona. I hope you can join me and donate to help this beautiful family for medical and travel expenses.
Ed and Collin...I am so grateful to have met you. Thank you for letting me share your story.
This Sunday was not your average Sunday. Sun was shining (already off to a weird start - where's the fog?), the wind was out with a vengeance, and upwards of 2000 people stormed the pathways of Spark Social SF to devour ridiculous amounts of mac-and-cheese-inspired food specials. This Sunday was The Great Mac & Cheese Melt-off.
It was our first Sunday shift at Spark Social and the event manager dropped by on Thursday to make sure I understood just how big this Sunday would be with the festival. She let me know A) It was ok that I wasn’t putting cheese in my cookie dough (yeah, just not happening) and B) that I was the only dessert vendor for the 2000 attendees. Her exact words: "Bring A LOOOOOOT. Like, a lot." After a quick assessment of how much cookie dough I had left and had planned to use up on Sunday - I realized it wouldn't be enough. Time to hit the kitchen. I called in the reinforcements (aka my mom) and we took to the kitchen on Saturday.
4 hours in the kitchen and a quick omg-was-that-20-or-24-pounds-of-butter-in-there-I-cant-remember-oh-god slip up, we had 200 pounds of magical, perfect, fluffy cookie dough packed up and ready to rock everyone's world at the festival.
[Crazy enough, after the kitchen that day we also had our first DOUGHP wedding tasting! Too fun. I made a special flavor by request of the bridge and groom. They loved them and I can't wait to serve up some DOUGHP at their reception in August!]
So, the next morning it's GO-TIME. I woke up at 5am (not unlike a child super stoked for Christmas) and got ready for the day! Doughp is being run on a volunteer army right now so two of my wonderful friends volunteered (unknowingly) for the world’s busiest event! We get set up and the line is building outside the gates - YES, a line! At 10am! For mac & cheese! Once the flood gates opened, it’s all a blur.
We sold 150 pounds (almost 600 scoops!) of cookie dough on Sunday. That’s A LOOOOT of cookie dough - but even more awesome - it was A LOOOOOT of super happy customers. The line was ridiculous but these people knew what they wanted and they were willing to wait! I loved every minute of it!
Best part: A few hours into it, the event manager comes over with a smile on her face and says, “I just wanted to let you guys know, you’re actually winning the vote right now for ‘Best Mac & Cheese Special’” We didn’t take home the prize in the end but, damn, that would’ve been funny.
Thanks for the support and hope to see you at Spark Social tonight/tomorrow 5-9pm for your weekly Doughp fix! Or check our store out online.
PS: Shout out to John and Mary for working the event with me! If it weren't for Mary's prior experience working in an ice cream shop - not sure we would've made it out alive! Love you guys!
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