On a cold winter day, Christina Worrell stopped at Helene Fritschi’s house to make an announcement. Christina would be entering The Cookie Challenge baking competition on behalf of Helene’s son, Kyle, who had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. If Christina’s team won, she would donate all proceeds to Children’s National, where Kyle was being treated.
“It took my breath away and the tears rolled down my cheeks,” recalls Helene. “Honestly, Christina didn’t even have to win the competition because in my eyes, she had already won for her thoughtfulness and kindheartedness.”The Cookie Challenge, held by Appliance Builders Wholesalers, was held in Silver Spring, Md. Each of the 14 teams of four bakers had to bake five dozen cookies in 90 minutes and present three perfect cookies to the judges. Christina’s team, named “Bake My Day,” donned aprons and went to work.An hour and a half later, the judging began. The judges listened to each team discuss the charity they would give donations to if they won. One of Christina’s teammates introduced Kyle, who stood quietly, nodded his head, and smiled. “What the judges didn’t know,” says his mother, “Is that Kyle had been through a very difficult day. He was extremely fatigued and in a lot of pain. But he rallied for this event. I was so proud to be his mom.”After careful evaluation, the judges ruled that Christina’s team had made the best cookie of the night. Their victory means that nearly $10,000 will go directly to Children’s National’s oncology program.“I wish I could describe all that I felt that evening, but it is impossible," said Helene. "If you take a dash of decency, a sprinkle of strength, a tablespoon of thoughtfulness, a cup of compassion, gallons of generosity, and bake it with love—you have the recipe for success. Christina’s team and everyone involved made my son, my tough cookie, feel like he won a million dollars.”