From brownies to cookies, cakes to breads, pies to tarts, Emily Caplan of Dallas has always loved to bake. So it was no surprise when, at age 13, she dedicated her bat mitzvah project to creating a desserts cookbook and donating the proceeds to MD Anderson.
Drawing from relatives, friends and Emily's own collection, "Baked by Emily" contains 53 recipes of delectable goodies, along with color photos of each. She chose MD Anderson as the beneficiary in honor of her late grandmother, Genie Weitzman, who was a sarcoma patient at MD Anderson for nine years before succumbing to the disease in 2009. Emily's grandfather, Herb Weitzman, also of Dallas, has been a member of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors since 2007.
"This book is in my grandmother's honor," says Emily. "MD Anderson was so good to her that I wanted to give back through the sale of my cookbooks."
Emily and her mom, Michelle, first ordered 100 books, unsure of what to expect. Through word of mouth and Facebook, sales jumped to more than 350 books, surpassing Emily's original goal of $1,500, or 50 books.
Michelle says the family is grateful to MD Anderson.
"Through new trials, new research and new drugs, we think MD Anderson elongated my mother's life," she says.
Emily says the best feeling was adding all of the checks for her $30 cookbook, and making a $10,000 donation to MD Anderson toward cancer research.