Wednesday, May 25

8-year-old cancer survivor helps other childhood cancer warriors

(CNN) — An 8-year-old cancer survivor in San Bernardino, California, is using part of the proceeds from her Girl Scout cookie sales to help others fighting cancer.

Lilly Bumpus, who has been a Girl Scout for four years, said she sold 32,484 boxes of Girl Scout cookies, breaking the previous record of about 26,000 boxes sold in three months.

In an emailed statement to CNN, a Girl Scouts of America spokesperson said the organization applauds “Lilly’s entrepreneurial efforts, her impressive sales target, and her donations.”

The Girl Scouts of America said it does not make an official record of the best cookie sellers nationwide. However, “there are many impressive cookie leaders across the United States, and our 111 councils, who handle their own sales tracking, can track their top sellers locally” like Bumpus, the spokesperson said.

The Bumpus troop, which includes other childhood cancer survivors or family members of someone who has fought cancer, is spending most of the funds raised for cancer research and food for the homeless.

Of the more than 32,000 boxes sold, 5,200 will also be donated to “childhood cancer partners in hospitals,” said Bumpus, who posted the record on his Facebook page on March 23.

“It’s crazy,” Bumpus told CNN of his sales record.

Fighting childhood cancer

Bumpus was born with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. He has been cancer-free since shortly before his first birthday. But Trish Bauer, Bumpus’s mother, told CNN that it has been a “long road” for her daughter, who began a treatment designed for adults at three months of age.

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“Dear world, childhood cancer is not rare and you cannot fight alone!” Bauer wrote on her daughter’s Facebook page. “It is still the least funded form of cancer research and that is why children like my little girl, who was born with it and is now a survivor, fight to sell cookies to try to fix it. They cannot fight alone.

Bumpus’ initial goal was to sell 5,000 cases, and as he sold more, it increased to 20,000. Bauer wasn’t sure she could achieve that goal.

“We thought 20,000 would be a miracle,” Bauer said.

As the pandemic continued, the Girl Scouts of America had to get creative for cookie season. In addition to secure in-person sales, the cookies were also sold online for the second year and, for the first time, through the Grubhub food delivery service.

But Bumpus ended up exceeding his goal of 20,000 boxes by March 21, which is when cookie season ended. Bauer said he did not reveal the final number of boxes to be a surprise until Bumpus’ meeting with his troop on March 22. In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Bauer wrote that the world “is showing my 8-year-old cancer survivor that together we can and will end cancer. And that nothing is impossible, when you make it possible! “

A Girl Scout spokesperson described Bumpus as “a true entrepreneur and fighter” who “personifies what the Girl Scout cookie program stands for.”

– Lauren M. Johnson contributed to this report.

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