Cookies4Cures with Dana Perella
Dana Perella has raised almost $200,000 to help fund research for rare pediatric diseases through Cookies4Cures.
Tell me where you’re from and how old you are.
I live in Boulder, Colorado and I’m 10 years old.
What is Cookies4Cures and why did you start it?
Cookies4Cures is my nonprofit that raises money to fund research in rare pediatric disease. It started with my friend Mila that I met in speech therapy. When I was 7, I found out she was diagnosed with a rare, fatal disease called Batten. I needed to help her, so I started Cookies4Mila to help find a cure for her form of Batten. I sold cookies to raise $1000 in three months, then I went viral and had $56,000 by the end of the year.
Were you already a baker?
I first had the idea of having a lemonade stand, but didn’t want to be limited to only selling in the summer. I love cookies, everyone loves cookies, you can eat them anytime, but I had never baked anything before. It was a new experience for me and was really fun.
Tell me what the money you’ve raised so far has done.
I’ve raised over $140,000 for five different rare pediatric diseases. I’ve raised money for Batten, PANS (pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome), SMA (spinal muscular atrophy), HAE (hereditary angioedema) and MCTO (multicentric carpotarsal osteolysis).
What have you learned about yourself that you’re proud of?
I’ve discovered I can make a difference. Not only adults can change the world- kids can too.
What’s your favorite Cookies4Cures moment?
The moment I knew I had funded a treatment for Mila’s Batten. That felt amazing because I helped my friend have a longer life.
What’s next for you?
It’s been hard to do cookie pop-ups because of covid, but Sophie’s family owns a restaurant and we’ve been selling cookies from the restaurant. I’m looking forward to dressing up as an elf for the holidays and delivering cookies around Boulder.
LINKS AND RESOURCES MENTIONED
CONNECT WITH COOKIES4CURES
TUNE INTO THE ONCE UPON A GENE PODCAST
CONNECT WITH EFFIE PARKS