By Shamala Pulugurtha, AKOM Writer and Researcher
Who knew something as little as a cupcake would have such a huge impact on people? Blake Colvin followed her heart and used cupcakes to bring hope to the lives of hundreds of cancer patients around the country.
At the age of 8, Blake was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer and was told she would not live. After getting another medical opinion Blake was told she did not have cancer, but would have to go through chemo for the next 2 1/2 years. It was during this time that she witnessed the financial hardships of treatment on the families. Fortunately the chemo treatment worked and Blake was healthy once again. Later she found out a fellow classmate was ill with cancer. She started to sell cupcakes to raise money for his family. What started with one cupcake to help one patient has now snowballed into a non-profit organization called Cupcakes for Cancer which has raised $45,000, granted 6 wishes for ill children for Make A Wish and has designed a national outreach called “Frosting Hope Across America” inspiring others to bake cupcakes and raise funds for cancer too. Blake has impacted many lives through something as simple as a cupcake.
Blake received the 2008 Spirit Award from the Santa Barbara Board of Education. She received the 2009 Chris Greisius Society of Joy Award from The Make-a-Wish Foundation of America and the 2010 Soroptimist International of Santa Barbara- Violet Richardson Award at both the local and regional levels. Spring 2010 Cupcakes for Cancer donated one -$1000 scholarship to a deserving graduating senior from Blake’s high school.
Let’s find out a little more about this amazing young lady!
AK: Can you tell us more information about your illness?
BC: I was ill when I was 8 years old and I was diagnosed with a rare cancer. My mom wanted a second opinion so me my dad and my mom flew to Arkansas to a special cancer center where we had found out that I did not have that cancer yet I was very sick. We came back home and started going to Stanford Hospital every month until it was decided that chemotherapy would be the best way to treat the mystery sickness I had. I went through chemotherapy for 2 and half years. I believe that God had healed me. I am completely fine now. Everything happens for a reason and I believe that I got ill so that I could have the passion to give back and start cupcakes for cancer and help others.
AK: Who are your role models and mentors?
BC: My role model in life is my brother Barrett who was always a great student and a strong Christian. He is a great leader and I have always looked up to him. He never drank a sip of alcohol until he was 21 and he has great morals to this day!
AK: What are your future plans?
BC: A future plan I have is to continue to spread the word of Cupcakes for Cancer. Also I have a national outreach called “Frosting hope across America” which is where anyone can become a “cupcake angel” and start their own cupcakes for cancer in their town. They email us telling us they want to help and we then send them a cupcake starter kit with Cupcake for Cancer aprons and cupcake “how to’s”. They then send us the proceeds and we send it to a national cancer research center called CureSearch. My goal is to have a cupcake angel in every state. Also we have raised up to $65,000 my future goal is to have raised $100,000 by the time I graduate high school. We also have an upcoming annual event called Cupcake Camp in Santa Barbara. We also hope to get a hot pink cupcake van to drive our cupcakes around.
AK: What advice do you have for your peers?
BC: It doesn’t matter how young you are. You can still make a difference – even if it is just a simple idea like selling one dollar cupcakes.