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Colorado teen baking up a big difference for kids' cancer research

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Posted at 11:18 AM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-25 12:05:22-04

LOVELAND, Colo. — Inside her Loveland kitchen, 13-year-old Daniela Ortiz is baking up a big difference.

This sweet endeavor started six years ago when her mom, Jill, ordered from the nonprofit Cookies For Kids Cancer, which raises money for childhood cancer research through worldwide bake sales.

"The next thing you know, I'm learning all about this great organization," said Jill Bernardino. "I knew she loved to bake, so I proposed it to her, and she said yeah, let's do it."

In their first year, they raised $400 for kids cancer research, and from there, things took off.

"Lately, we've been doing like 50 dozen cookies," said Daniela.

Two-and-a-half years ago, a terrible twist of fate brought the mother-daughter team heartbreaking news.

"I've been on the cancer journey now about 2.5 years," Jill said.

Jill was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, meaning her cancer had spread and no cure.

"My goal is just to live every day and enjoy it, deal with what we have right now. Right now, it's all about baking. Next thing, we'll cross the bridge when it comes," Jill said.

To date, the pair has raised $14,000 for kids cancer research. What started as a lesson in giving back has helped hundreds of kids and gives Daniela some sweet moments with her mom.

"It's awesome because it's like creating a big impact, and I hope that people will consider that when they're donating when they're helping out," Daniela said.

"I can't put it into words. What she has dedicated, she does not get one penny from this, nothing. She even goes as far as donating some of her own money to the cause," said Jill. "Her father and I are so proud of her."

This year's bake sale will be held on Sept. 5-6.

For more information on ordering cookies or making a donation to the cause, head to the website by clicking here.

Molly Hendrickson with KMGH first reported this story.