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Pops for a purpose

A couple of months ago, I received an email from a reader. She told me the story of her baby daughter, Savannah, and how she received a liver transplant when she was one. She explained how much she and her husband want to raise awareness for organ donation. And, when she asked me to create a cupcake pop for fundraisers to honor Savannah’s 2-year-old donor, I knew what I had to do.

I called and told her I would and then I told her my story, and we both cried.

You see, today is my sweet sixteen. It’s what I call my second birthday. Sixteen years ago I received a phone call asking me to come to the hospital right away. The voice on the other end said they had a possible “match.” I was sick, both of my kidneys had failed and I was on dialysis. But, later on that evening I was in surgery for a kidney transplant. And, the next day I no longer needed dialysis – I was the recipient of the greatest gift that can be given.

I don’t have the words to describe all the feelings I had then and still have now. But Savannah’s mom reminded me how I was given a second chance and how I can do more myself.

So maybe, you’ll read this and take a minute to think about organ donation. Or, the next time you renew your license, you’ll remember these pops or Savannah, or me and change a life.

Here’s Savannah’s story (have a kleenex handy)

Cupcake Pops

Above: cupcake pops with the green ribbon (a symbol for organ donation) Below: Some other combinations with the same color scheme.

Cake Pops

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177 comments on “Pops for a purpose”

  1. I too got a kidney from my brave 25 year old daughter last year. Wow. I’ve been born again. They failedcovernite practically….I never was sick or swollen , given 2-6 hrs to live. I made it and my youngest surprised me w a match ( twin match) after two years of horrible dialysis. Congrats to everyone. Xo???

  2. wow! how thoughtful! I might have to do that for a fundraiser coming up to raise money for the JDRF. Because my cousin Ana has Juvinile diabities.

  3. thank you for doing these. I found them while searching the web for ideas for my son’s transplant anniversary party. It will be his 3rd anniversary, he had his liver transplant when he was 4.5 months old. Thank you!!

  4. I think I might just have to “attempt” to make these and the kidney pops for my transplant doctors and my former dialysis nurses next time I see them. Thanks for posting and I too fight this fight for awareness. Imagine the lives that have already/will be saved just because of the people who read these posts and decided to sign their donor cards. Wow!

  5. Green is also the ribbon color for Cerebral Palsy

  6. that was so sad my moms cousin died from cancer this year but I could’nt go

  7. My brother in law recently passed away. He was a donor recipient. He had a heart transplant at age 7. He was 25 when he died of heart failure, but in his death he is saving lives. He was a donor and Donate Life Illinois has sent us a plaque and a list of what organs were used. Tonight we are having a benefit to raise money for Ronald McDonald House and Donate Life. I am donating 200 pops for the event. These are beautiful and I am using these as inspiration for my creations. Thanks for sharing!! God bless all the donors out there :)

  8. My family and I were looking for fundraiser ideas because my grandfather (Poppy) needs a Lung transplant, i came across the picture of your wonderful lollipops while searching google images for the organ transplant ribbon.Your story just made me have even more hope for him to recieve the lung and recover from it. I must say the lollipops look so delicious and i was hoping that maybe i could get the recipe..? or Maybe you could make some Pops for Poppy? Either would be sooo wonderful!!!
    I’m 16 and i’ll always be an organ donor!!<3

  9. I am at work, reading this post for the first time, and I cant help but get choked up. What beautiful stories of God’s faithfulness, and the love we can pass on to one another because of it.

    The pops look great, and are that much more beautiful because of the cause.

    Thanks for inspiring others to give.

  10. I know this is from a few years ago…but I’m making cake pops for Relay for Life (cancer awareeness/fundraiser) and I love the ribbon detail on these. Is there a recipe somewhere?

  11. I love these pops. Did you know the green ribbon is also a symbol for mitochondrial disease? That’s near and dear to my heart as I have two children with suspected mito disorder.
    Thanks for sharing this great story and making these beautiful creations.

  12. Oh gosh, i never knew how lucky i am until now. When i am old enough i am going to help with people like this and let me tell you, that is one promise i am going to keep. What a horrible thing to have happened at an age like that. I feel so sorry for you too, Sarah, your story is absolutely amazing, it is a good thing you wear the green ribbon in pride. I really need to go get a tissue, just thinking of something like this makes me wanna cry my eyes out. My uncle died when i was about 4, i am now 10 and i still pray to him every night, he died of a heart condition and i remember him having to take loads of pills to make himself better, unfortunately these did not work.

  13. WOW. You have the same birthday as me. ..
    O

  14. Bakerella! Wonderful job on these! They are amazing! I have been surching for something my aunt can do for a fundraiser of some sort. My cousin, her son, Aaron passed away in 2004 and had previously told his mom and family if anything happened to him he wanted to donate his organs. So when he passed away from a car accident when he was 15, she had his organs donated, And she has since been involved in throwing fundraisers for different causes and it all started with a fundraiser to collect money to go to the national donor games they have annually. And then I came across these. They are perfect! These are a perfect idea for a bake sale for the next time she wants to raise money to go to the donor games! Thank you so much for sharing these! And by the way, I love all the ideas you come up with! Absolutly wonderful!

  15. I just discovered our website looking for an idea for my son’s 4th bday. I got the blessing of a second chance couple of years ago, just after my son birth, a family gave me a new heart!!! I would love to make those cake… How did you make the green ribons on top???

    I wish you a sweet sixteen!!! And good luck to everybody who living the same kind of adventure! Appreciate life it’s so important, and don’t wait until you’re not having it anymore to start liking it!!!

    (sorry my english is not so good, I’m french :)

    Thanks for your work and I’ll be back on your website soon!!!

  16. I am so inspired and touched by your story. I am a kidney transplant recipient myself and all along I have read your blog not knowing this. It’s nice to know that a fellow transplant recipient can do such amazing things as you! :)

  17. IT is so help full do u give money

  18. I just saw this post… my dad had a heart transplant many many years ago before it was a common thing. He was given 5 years, but lived 15 years!! I was a little girl at the time and remember the helicopter landing and the the surgeons running through the hallways with the cooler and his “heart”. WOW! Love your story and that you are helping to bring awareness to organ donation. Thank YOU!

  19. I am so happy that you posted your story. You are an inspiration to all. 16 years post is excellent. You have treated your gift of life with respect.

    I did not realize that a Green Ribbon was for Donor Awareness. I will add this to my endevor to bring more awareness to the need for Organ Donation. Things have come so far since my Father passed of Renla Faliure in 1987. Live Donor options are growing especially for Kidney Transplants, with a Paired Donor Program for friends and family members that want to donate to you but are not a match. They are now being Paired with others and duel transplantations are done the same day.

    I too am Post Transplant since Sept 2008. I was Blessed with a Live Donor who happened to be my husband. I wrote a short story for Valentines Day and if interested in reading it I have included the link.

    Blessing to You and All the Lives You Have Touched…Cindy

    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1419012/my_valentine_the_ultimate_gift.html?cat=44

  20. God is so awesome and able. I love hearing stories where he made the impossible, possible!

    love the cake pops!

    may you have a blessed life :)

  21. Oh goodness that is so touching. Pops with a puropse. These are the best kind of pops there are.

  22. This is just another wonderful example of how precious life is and how amazing and generous people are. Thanks for sharing these stories. I’m glad you’re feeling better.

  23. Wow! What a wonderful story you have to share. I’m not sure how I missed reading it a few years back, but I’m so happy I read it today.

  24. My husband rode his bike across America with a team of 8 for organ transplant! They raised some good money for the cause. It saves lives!

  25. too green…not really like green..:)
    but i really like your wedding cake pop~n i might makes this on my wedding~

  26. thankyou for sharing your story, i have a friend at church that is on the list now for a liver transplant but is becoming much weaker waiting. Asking anyone to pray.

  27. What a wonderful idea Bakerella! I made some cookie pops that were inspired by you using Australian cookies called Tim Tams and they were such a hit! I’ve never seen so many children with chocolate coated mouths before but the funny thing is all the parents did too! ;)

  28. What a lovely Easter gift to all of us. Thank you. At a time of year when we think about the newness of spring and the rebirth of nature around us this is a beautiful reminder of the power of the human heart! May your family and Savannah’s be blessed with health and love this holiday!

  29. Wow,

    I had no idea…

    despite the fact your message brought tears to my eyes, I think it has a really positive message (second chances!), and it raises awareness to organ donation!

    Such a great pop for such a great cause…
    Well done to you Bakerella for being the fairy-godrella this time! :)

  30. Ooooh Bakerella! So thankful for this post. My step-dad is enduring dialysis-stage 4 renial failure. So we are praying hard for that kidney to arrive! I am an organ donor and will spread the awareness! So thankful for these stories…

  31. I loved your story. My daughter had a kidney transplant when she was 16 years old. I was able to give her one of mine. I know the heartache and the joy that comes with organ donation. God bless you and keep you healthy. You are awesome and I love your website.

  32. Thanks so much for sharing this. I just received a kidney transplant in July 2009 from a living donor, a truly amazing friend. I have such high regards for organ donors, both living donors and families that make that amazing choice and gift.

    I was on hemo dialysis for 6 months after my kidneys shut down. My husband woke up to me having seizures at 6 in the morning from the toxic build up in my system. Our friend stepped up, got tested and was as close of a match as if we are blood related, so amazing. I had my last dialysis session on July 16th and the next day felt amazing. So thankful for that amazing gift.

  33. How awesome is that!? I never would have thought you were a transplant receipient. I myself received the second chance of life. I had a Liver Transplant on September 11,1990. It will be 20 years! I am very grateful and mourn my donor although I don’t know his family. I wish you the best and Savannah a LONG and healthy life. It gives me another reason to walk the Donate Life event.

  34. My mother works in the kidney transplant department at a major hospital here in LA. I am honored to be able to help decorate the Donate Life rose parade float with her every year. I hear hopeful and heartbreaking stories from donors and recipients. The selflessness, generosity and gratitude involved in organ donation makes me hopeful that the world isn’t as dark of a place as it can sometimes appear to be.

  35. My mother was a dialysis patient and I was moved by your story and Savannah’s! A year old! WOW…..

    I’m just so happy to know that your kidney transplant was successful and I wish you all good health for many, many years to come…..

  36. Awesome! And that is my birthday!!! I will think of you every year on that day. :o) What a beautiful gift!

  37. Bless you! My beautiful 19 year old son was an organ donor. Today 5 people are alive who were dying, 2 people who were going blind can see and countless others we’ll never know about through his generous gift of life with both organs and tissue. It makes my soul smile to know that others have such improved lives through the gifts that our loved ones make.

  38. I am so thankful for the people that choose to give life to others after their life is complete. Or maybe those that give one kidney, knowing that life can be sweeter for someone else because of their generosity. My liver is now enlarged and the enzymes are abnormal because of meds for 16 yrs now. I was bitten by a spider that almost took my life. Now I am thinking more and more about the possibility of one day needing a donor. I would life to again say thank you and God bless to donors. God bless you and Savannah also.

  39. This is the purfect easter post becaue its about the gift of life… which is the real reason. The bunny and chickens and of course chocolate was the after thought.

  40. This truely is a great story and worthy cause… Because of stories like this and others I think there is ANGELS among us.

  41. My mother is also a kidney and pancreas transplant recipient. She celebrates 11 years in August. Organ donation gave her life back to her. Thanks for sharing your story.

  42. I’m 26 and waiting for a transplant myself, been for 3 years. They are beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  43. Just woke up and looked to see if your post was in my e-mail. While reading it you reminded me that in the near futue I will need a donor for a cornea transplant down the road. I have always been a donor on my license. People do not know just how important is is to literally give of one’s self. Thank you so much for sharing your story and yes yours pops and creations are beautiful.. Bakerella have a blessed Easter and I hope your feeling bettter. Hugs Paulette

  44. It’s wonderful how you’ve made use of that second chance. I’m so glad for you!

  45. My friend Paula got a phone call last Thursday morning – a kidney she’d been waiting a year for was available – by lunchtime the operation was done and she was in recovery!

    She had a transplant about 10 years ago but it was failing so she’s been on dialysis. Now her and her hubby can free up a whole room in their house when the dialysis machine moves out.

    I LOVE your site – checking it out for inspiration and baking-cheer every few days. Think I’ll make her some organ-donor pops.

    Keep up everything* great you do for us vicarious (and real) bakers)!

    *including taking care of yourself

  46. My son went through 3.5 years of chemo for an aggressive cancer….he spent ages 2-6 on treatment, and if it werent for the countless blood and platelette donors…he wouldnt be alive today.

    he is 9 now, and this past week he shaved his head to raise money…to help his friends still in the battle.

    We believe in donating….blood, organs, time, money….helping others saves lives.

    http://www.caringbridge.org/ca/andrew

  47. Congratulations to you!
    I have always been an organ donor. My family lost a member some years ago and through organ donation many people were saved. It’s amazing what can be done and I can’t understand why you wouldn’t be one. Who doesn’t like to help people?

  48. Thank you for sharing your story and having such a generous heart. I am an organ donor and wouldn’t have it any other way.

  49. As a nurse I have been involved in many transplants from pre-induction to surgery to recovery…and I can tell you first hand what a difference this makes in the lives of patients and their families. Unfortunately their are just not enough donors. Thanx for this post and increasing awareness.

  50. I’m so glad that you are in such a wonderful place to spread such a beautiful message! I’ve spent the past 17 years living with intestinal disease, have lost my large intestine, a part of my lung, have had many surgeries and have also spent more weeks in the hospital I can count. I’ve received dozens of blood transfusions, and am thankful for every drop. I’m of course an organ donor, but joke that I won’t have any organs left when my time comes :) My husband gives blood as frequently as he can without falling over. There is no greater gift than ourselves–literally! Thank you bakerella for sharing your story!!

  51. Bakerella, thank you for sharing your story. My grandfather is on dialysis and is on a transplant list…hopefully he’ll get the wonderful gift of new kidneys someday soon! Because of his struggles, I’ve changed my license to be an organ donor.

  52. Thank you for a wonderful story. I lost my dad to diabetes complications 18 months ago. He was on dialysis had all kinds of heart trouble. We were very sad to find out he was not a candidate for a kidney transplant because his heart was too weak.

  53. oh well, hope you are doing ok! My daughter had a heart transplant in 2008 when she was 8 months old. She is doing great and we just try to enjoy the good things life has to offer everyday. Obviously we are so organ donation here. (I knew there was a reason I like your site so much!). Hope you are doing well.

    thanks for all the wonderful posts!

  54. youve touched so many hearts! God will truely bless you!

  55. I am a social worker with the Pediatric Liver Transplant program at the University of Michigan, and knowing and seeing the beauty of the gift of life every day in the sweet little ones we see in our program, I am touched to know that there are so many other people out there championing for organ donor awareness. Beautiful cake, beautiful spirit! Thank you!

  56. I just found this and it makes me happy. I’m about to go through the testing to see if I can donate my kidney to someone and it’s been very up and down. I think your story is just cementing my resolve.

  57. I signed up for organ donation when I got my learner’s permit at age 19. I am 37 now and I don’t regret it one bit.

  58. Jami – Congratulations! 10 years on dialysis must have been tough. I hope you did peritoneal. I eventually had the machine that did exchanges during the night which was a big help.

  59. How did I miss this post. I too am a kidney transplant recipient myself. celebrated my 11th birthday this year May 21, 2009. I was on dialysis for 10 years before I got my new kidney. after my transplant went back to school and got my degrees in bakery/pastry, culinary arts, and f&b hospitality management services. you are an inspiration to me. I hope you check out my web sites the family one, and the food one, saltnchocolate.blogspot.com
    God Bless!

  60. Happy Belated 17th Birthday! I was catching up on old posts when I came across this one. Boy, oh boy…had me in tears! In a good way!

    About 9 years ago, my dad donated over half of his liver (he was blessed with an extra large one!) to his cousin, granting her the best year and a half of her life before the hepatitis C came back. On December 22, we will celebrate my father-in-law's 2nd Birthday with a new liver (now that's a Christmas present!). We thank God every day for what I know was a tough decision for our Angel's family…

    I have been a registered organ and tissue donor since I turned 16 (now 31), and feel very blessed that others have made the same decision, which saved my father-in-law. My deepest hope is that stories like yours, Savannah's, and all the others shared here will continue to raise awareness for organ and tissue donation!

    Thank you for sharing your story with all of us, and for letting us celebrate your life with you…as if we needed a reason to love you more… :)

  61. Read this post and the comments. It should help you out.

    http://bakerella.blogspot.com/2008/04/make-your-cupcakes-pop.html

  62. Thank you, Bakerella.

    I am a donor family member and it is so wonderful to see recipients celebrating their lives.

    I work for Donate Life California and plan to make these for a future staff meeting. Any tips? :)

  63. sweeties – that’s amazing.
    2 DOUBLE ORGAN TRANSPLANTS! WOWWWWW!

    I hope all is well and that your immunosuppressants are treating you nicely.

  64. I just read through some previous months I had missed, since I’m new to your email blog updates. I can’t believe you are also a kidney transplant recipient -so am I!! I was juvenile diabetic, and have now had 2 double organ transplants (kidney and pancreas both times). WOW!!! AND, I just made my first cake pops for a cancer fund raiser last night in our area! What are the odds of that! Thanks so much for sharing your story, and your inspirational sweet treats :)

  65. I just did these for cancer awareness. Take a look:

    http://bakerella.blogspot.com/2009/04/cute-for-cure.html

  66. Bakerella,

    These pops are awesome!!!

    I stumbled upon your blog today, I can’t remember how I got here, but I am glad I did. Looking at all of your ridiculously adorable creations has made me giddy for cake!

    After looking through pages, and pages on your blog I found these little pops…for a purpose, and after I read the story I wondered if maybe you would consider doing something similar… again.

    Here is a bit of my story. My name is Haley and I am 19 years old. I have been living with a very deadly childhood cancer called Stage IV High Risk Neuroblastoma for 14 years (14 years on March 12!!) and I am really big on raising awareness for childhood cancers and am always looking for new ways to spread information.

    If you’d like, I am part of an online community called People Against Childhood Cancer (PAC2), it’s kind of like myspace…only better…obviously. :)

    This is the website:
    http://curechildhoodcancer.ning.com

    You can find me here:
    http://curechildhoodcancer.ning.com/profile/Haley70

    Feel free to join. We always love having new friends at PAC2.

    I hope you consider helping to raise awareness for Childhood Cancer.

    Thanks!
    Haley

    P.S. you can e-mail me at hau5@unh.edu

  67. That’s fantastic! I’m so happy for you. What a wonderful gift from your cousin.

  68. What a beautiful story! I am an amateur home baker & love Cake Wrecks, and found your blog through the lovely Sunday Sweets posted there!

    I too had my own miracle. I received a kidney from my cousin just 5 weeks ago, on Jan. 6 2009. I have tears in my eyes from reading yours & Savannah's stories. Thank you for sharing, and helping raise awareness! May God continue to bless you*

  69. { Bethany } – I am truly sorry about your son. You and your family must have been through a lot during his struggle and I am so sad to hear he didn’t get a fair fight. I too, can only hope that more people will make the decision to become organ donors.

  70. Bakerella,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to Savvy’s story this way! Our family knows her through the Liver Families website as well. She is such a sweet girl and her mom is a great advocate and fighter for this cause.

    Our little boy Gavin was also waiting for a liver transplant, but his amazing journey was cut short last month. After fighting for 11 long months, he passed away before he could receive his “gift of life”. It was two weeks before his 1st birthday.

    I hope this post will continue to create awareness for organ donation. Its my wish that no family will ever have to suffer the way we will continue to for the rest of lives.

    ~Bethany
    Gavin’s mom (our little man)

    http://www.giftforgavin.org

  71. ana and savannah – No need to thank me. It was my pleasure. I hope Savannah is still doing well.

  72. I still click on this post months later just to look at the amazing gift you created…you are an amazing woman and I continue to say Thank you .. THANK YOU BAKERELLA! I will always be grateful for this beautiful gift!

    XOXO,
    Ana Anselmo
    Proud Mami of Savannah (Warrior Princess!)
    http://www.cotaforsavannaha.com

  73. I LOVE these! I am also a lucky recipient of a kidney (from my sister). I just might have to make these for my 10 year anniversary coming up next year.

  74. Sarah – I loved reading your story. Thank you for sharing.

  75. What a great story. It brought tears to my eyes. I got married just about two weeks ago (on 9-13) and, after the day was over and my new husband and I were winding down, he told me that my grandmother had died early that morning and that’s why she wasn’t at the wedding. My whole family kept the news from me so I could have a happy day. This was devastating news, just five months after the loss of my other grandmother, but one thing that brings comfort to my family in this trying time is that her last wish was to be a tissue donor. Due to diabetes and hypertension, her organs weren’t in condition for donation, but her skin and tissue was. We found out shortly thereafter that her passing and subsequent donation helped 50 people. 50 people! That would mean the world to her, and I wear the green ribbon with pride to honor her memory.

  76. When my best friend and I were 16, she went into very sudden renal failure and had to be put on dialysis for a number of years while waiting for a kidney transplant. I’ll never forget her suffering or struggle. And too, I will also never forget being in college and coming back to my dorm room one afternoon and by chance, just before walking out the door to work, I caught a phone call and it was her saying “I couldn’t tell you earlier, they called in the middle of the night — I just got my kidney.”

    We are now 24. Both graduated from college; she is married and has a career in journalism.

    But when I got my license at 16 – I said I would be an organ donor then, and to this day I still am: because someone out there saved her life by that choice and I would hope that someday I should be so lucky as to save someone’s too.

    Thank you for bringing attention to this. :’)

  77. Amy – I haven’t really written about my recovery. But I can tell you, that it’s probably the one surgery that you look/feel better when you wake up than before you went in.

  78. Thank you for sharing your story.
    My husband is 38 years old and has end stage renal failure due to lupus. He’s now having dialysis 3 times a week. NOT fun but we are so grateful that it can be done.
    I am so happy to hear that you had a transplant so long ago and it worked for you. Have you ever written about your expierence with recovery, etc? My husband may soon apply for a transplant. We will see what happens!!
    Thanks again for sharing,
    Amy

  79. Thanks Jen. I did peritoneal dialysis for nearly a year.

  80. I’m so glad you had this post. I’m a dietitian at a dialysis center and there’s nothing like being present when a patient gets a call because a kidney was found for them! Organ donation should be a no brainer. Bless you.

  81. Anonymous – Wow, to think that way when you were 12. So sweet. Thank you!

  82. What a story!!! I carry a donor card and have done since I was 12. I used to have it pinned to the inside of my schoolbag incase something was to happen to me on the way home from school. I now carry one each in my children’s names.

  83. bridget – thanks!

    Mary – That’s awesome.

  84. I know I’m a little late on this post, but you’ve just reminded me to update my registry on my state’s organ donor database. Happy sweet sixteen!

  85. What an amazing and heartwarming gesture you did in making these adorable pops. Best wishes to you and also to little Savannah.

  86. Heather – I second that.

  87. How beautiful. It is amazing how many people are affected when there is a need for donation. The truly incredible fact about donation is that one donor can impact so many lives. I have spoken on behalf of organ donation and it amazes me how many people are “afraid” of it. To anyone reading these comments I urge you to learn more about organ donation and how you can save lives at http://www.donatelife.org

  88. Cakespy – Wow… thank you. I know your family appreciates your sweetness, too.

    SwellCakes – and thank you for your work with transplants. I can say I actually enjoy going to the hospital because I know how good the care is on the transplant floor.

    Latifa – why thanks!

  89. i like the new look of your blog.

  90. Your pops are gorgeous and the story is even better. After working on a hospital kidney transplant unit for over five years, I understand the huge need for organ donation. I saw so many hurting, particularly from kidney failure. What a blessing that you are able to help raise awareness after having been the recipient yourself.

  91. What a wonderful story and cause. Having a relative who has received a transplant, I can attest to how much it will affect not only the person receiving the organ but also their entire family. Happy birthday to you Bakerella!

  92. I am overwhelmed. It’s remarkable to me how many people have been touched in one way or another by an organ transplant. All of your stories are so moving. I want to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to share.

    And,

    for the donors who gave unselfishly;

    for the donor angels who will never know how many people their gift has helped;

    for the recipients who work every day to keep that gift alive;

    for the family and friends who were there with love and support;

    for the sick who are still waiting…

    and for the medical professionals that are there to help them…

    Thank you so much and bless you.

  93. What a beautiful use of those pops. Thanks for the link, and for sharing your own story. My good friend is currently training for a triathlon with Team in Training. A little different, but they raise money for Leukemia and Lymphoma research. It’s really neat. Here’s the link to her page there if you’re interested in reading about what she’s doing. She can always use prayer support, and fundraiser help if you’re so inclined. http://pages.teamintraining.org/sd/pactri08/bleach

  94. Powerful stories for both of you. This month marks my own 1-yer anniversary of a near-brush with death. And it’s literally quite true that moments like that can provide you with extreme clarity and help you to re-purpose your life (if you need re-purposing). After a lot of soul-searching, I’ve decided to move from my high-powered, hard-charging, for-profit lifestyle into the nonprofit sector, and do some good in the world while I’m still here. In that way, my illness was a gift.
    Thank you for sharing your story, and Savannah’s story as well, Bakerella. Now you are a favorite website not just for the awesome cupcakes and pops and things, but because of the awesomeness of you!

  95. What a wonderful post – thank you for sharing yours and Savannah’s stories.

  96. What a wonderful gift. Happy Sweet Sixteen!

  97. My brother is a kidney transplant survivor..he is in his 60’s..I wish we were closer.

    Beautiful post.

  98. Those look great!

  99. Oh wow… look at these… I think i’m hooked. GOT to try some of these out :-)

    jk x

  100. Happy Sweet 16 to you! The cupcakes are great. My friend Tess got a kidney the other day after being on dialysis for years. I’m in the early stages of kidney disease myself but my organ donor card is signed. They can take whatever they need after I’m gone!

  101. i love your blog so much i featured it on my blogger!!! thanks for all the yummy things you share!!

  102. Great pops!

    AWESOME story…yours and Savannah’s! Thank you for sharing!!

  103. Bless you bakerella, Organ donors rock!!!!

  104. Lovely pops. I am an organ donor too. Glad I found your site.

    I am doing my first giveaway. Hope you can drop on by.

  105. Just when I thought I couldn’t love your blog any more than I already do, you use cupcakes to save the world! I hope pops for a purpose inspire people who are not yet organ donors to register and talk to their families. It’s a simple, painless way to make a huge difference. One organ donnor can help dozens of people, and if you count the recipients familly and friends, that becomes hundreds if not thousands of lives touched. Thank you Bakerella, and happy sweet 16!

  106. The pops are beautiful, and for such a great purpose too. Well done. And congrats on your sweet 16, that is wonderful!

  107. Love your site, and those pops:)

  108. These are beautifully made, and the story behind them makes them all the better! My best friend is alive today because of a heart transplant she received 3 years ago, so these stories really hit close to home.

    This is my first time commenting here, but I wanted to tell you how wonderful your blog is! I’m 17 and plan to major in Baking and Pastry Arts in college, and this website has been such an inspiration. (:

    Thank you!
    Molly

  109. Thanks for this post and your story!
    I work for an organization called Donate Life Northwest and our mission is to promote organ, eye and tissue donation.
    As a person with a liver disease which may require me to have a transplant someday, this issue is very dear to me.
    If any of your readers are in the state of Oregon or Washington, besides signing up at the DMV, they can sign up on the online registy at http://www.donatelifenw.org.
    Thanks again for all your wonderful posts and support of this important cause!

  110. Such an awesome reminder of how we should live and cherish each day. My father donated his kidney to a friend about 6 years ago, so this just makes me remember how precious and wonderful life is! Thanks for sharing!

  111. I have been following your blog for weeks now and have not left a comment yet…..even on the sprinkles give-away.

    But I just have to comment today…..

    I am a nurse and worked in inpt/outpt dialysis for 10 years……I saw my patients more than my own family!! I loved each of them and felt bad for each of them!! We celebrated EACH and EVERY transplant!!!

    I have told my husband to give away all my organs: eyes, ears, hair, skin, ovaries, pancreas, anything that can help someone else….geez TAKE IT, for goodness sake!!

    Big HUGS to you and your family!!

    PS your blogs ROCKS!!

    Shirley Rossetti
    Hillsboro OR

  112. What a sweet story and a sweet thing to do. I love them! I love the act of kindness as well. I wish we all would do more random acts of kindness!

  113. I am going to try to make your pops! They are so cute!

  114. They are beautiful! It was wonderful of you to share your story and Savannah’s.

  115. Wow, what a story. Thank you so much for sharing. I’ve been an organ donor almost as long as I’ve had my license. I’ve always believed in it.

    Oh, and cute cupcake pops as always :)

  116. donations in spain know much .. congratulations on the pops for the purpose better life ..

  117. Bakerella, you are a walking testimony, and you came to us over pops! The Good Lord is using you for so much more… Hugs in Health, Janet

  118. There’e a reason why you do what you do – it’s not always about the baking – it’s about connections. It’s just not often that we are able to witness such an extraordinary coincidence and physical event. Kudos to Savannah’s mom for getting in touch with you and kudos to you for acting on the story and probably re-affirming something special in you. Beautiful!

  119. you are such a blessing in so many many ways! Two of my very good friends back in the homeland had kidney transplants as well. But hey were lucky that one of their family members were a match. I couldn’t imagine if they weren’t and if they had to wait for a donor…

    thank you for sharing your story and for continually sharing your talent and creativity to us. You are a blessing and I pray that you will be blessed even more!

  120. Heartwarming!

  121. This is my very 1st comment to a blog…. but this is close to home for me. Blessings to you, Savanah and your families and thank you all for bringing more awareness to organ donation.

    My mother is a liver recipient – she received her gift of life 5 years ago from a beautiful young woman named Jill. Jill's generosity gave my family the most precious of gifts and we are so grateful. Read about it at: http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/jul/11/quite-by-accident/

    There's a quote that I learned from a young man, Connor – a 2-time heart recipient that says it all, "Spread the word, don't take your organs to heaven. Heaven knows we need them here."

    Folks, please register in your state and remember, if you move across state lines, you need to reregister! (The databases are not nationwide!) As someone else said, a single person's organs can save up to 8 lives and their tissues (corneas, bones, tendons & ligaments, heart valves, skin, etc.) can help up to 100 people! Learn more at http://www.donatelife.net/index.php

    Blessings to all those that continue to wait, those that have received, and those that donated and all their families!

  122. This is incredible! I still have tears in my eyes! You did a beautiful job on those pops!

  123. When my nephew was killed in an accident 4 years ago we had the privilege of having his organs donated. The only way to make his senseless death meaningful was to think of 5 people who now had a chance at life! We met two of the organ recipients and loved being a part of their lives. The double lung and heart recipient just passed away in January. He had 3 extra years that his family is forever grateful for!
    Thank you for championing this great blessing!
    Gaye

  124. These are adorable! Happy Anniversary!! My 5 year old daughter will be celebrating her 4th Liver Transplant Anniversary in November 2008. These may be going to school with her on that day! We know Savvy and Ana from http://www.liverfamilies.net Thanks for making these for Ana!

  125. Thanks for helping raise awareness!
    I received a life saving liver transplant at the age of 11…20 years ago!
    http://www.marisasmiracle.com

    Happy 16yrs to You!

  126. wow- what a great cause to support! Thanks for this post and your cute way of supporting!

  127. My best friend’s one year old recently drowned. It was extremely tragic and you can read her inspiring story at http://www.adailyscoop.blogspot.com
    They hoped they would be able to donate her organs, but were only able to donate her heart valves. Still, it is comforting to know that her tragedy helped save the lives of 2 other infants. I am a strong believer in organ donation and want to have all of my body parts that can be donated if I die early. Thank you for making these and i hop they are a huge success!

  128. What a great cause… My aunt’s both kidneys aren’t working either. She’s first on the national list of kidneys request and I only hope that she gets as lucky as you did, and as Savanaah did… she has three children.
    I think I’ll make something to support this cause too… was your pick the green/white combo or it’s like the actual colors of a campaing or something?
    Beautiful pops by the way!

  129. Yeah!!! My father in law recieved a kidney last fall from his niece and that gift has changed his life forever. These pops are beautiful. Thanks for being willing to share your story ands Savananhs also!

  130. What great awareness pops. My son has autism and I was thinking of doing something with the pops with the puzzle piece symbol. We should all remember to count our blessing each day and be grateful for what we have.

  131. Happy Sweet 16-what a gift and an inspiration!

  132. Honestly, just yesterday I renewed my license and for the first time I checked the organ donation box. I don’t know why it took me so many years to do it, but I am so glad I did! And now I read this post… how timely. Happy Sweet 16!

  133. I’m an organ donor and have never thought twice about not being one. Its a great thing, that costs you nothing… but gives someone EVERYTHING.

  134. Thanks for making the beautiful pops!! We love sweet Savy so much… we met her through a support group http://www.liverfamilies.net – see 3+ years ago I gave part of my liver to my little girl.

    The need is so great, as I know you know…thank you.

  135. You are soooooooooo thoughtful.

    I am a resisted donor via driver’s license and I remind my family of my wishes very frequently.

    I work w/people infected w/Hepatitis C and often speak of organ donations and transplants when I train medical personnel.

  136. So, pretty and they look yummy…PLUS they’re for a good cause! Awesome!

  137. Okay you made me cry so very early in the morning, but appreciate you bringing awareness to this cause. I have a cousin who died at the early age of 28 due to a car accident and by being a donor, his heart saved a dying father of 4. All totalled he helped 28 other people through his organ donations. God bless Savannah and you on your Sweet 16.

  138. i am a donor. and when i read your story and hers, it reminds me exactly why i made that choice.
    beautiful pops!

  139. I am going to try these in pink. I am a breast cancer survivor and need a treet for a survivor’s get together

  140. WOW! You are such an inspiration! Happy 16th birthday to you! I am so happy for you and being the recipient of the kidney donation. The cupcake pops are awesome! Thanks for sharing not only your story, but Savannah’s, too! They help me be so grateful for all I have!

  141. WOW!! Fabulous pops and CONGRATS to you and your 16th birthday!! I have always been an organ donor and am so happy you had one to help you!!!

  142. This is so touching…my little cousin died just over a year ago from heart/lung failure. There was no donor available in the short time he had left.
    I became an organ donor immediately after he passed. He was 9 years old. Bless you for reaching out!

    Miranda Jones

  143. They’re lovely pops and for such a great purpose. The gift of life is truly the best gift of all.

    A truly touching story.

  144. Recipe saved for my son’s five-year transplant anniversary in March. I can’t wait to make these for his “second chance at life” party!

    Happy 16th Anniversary!

  145. Thank you for sharing two very touching stories. I do hope your blog inspires people to become organ donors. I am, regretfully, unable to donate blood or organs due to past health problems, a fact that makes me so sad. But my husband is a designated organ donor – yay! Thanks again for the beautiful stories and the adorable pops.

  146. Hi Bakerella: You continue to surprise and inspire me! Bless your sweet cuppy-loving heart!

  147. Wow! These look yummy and so beauitufl. What a wonderful idea, Ana!!

    My son, Xander, is to be an organ recipient soon. I have always been an organ donor myself but I never realized HOW important it was until my son was born. I dream of the day he recieves his GIFT. I know it will be a true miracle.

    Thank you so much for getting the word out and Happy, Happy Anniversary!!

  148. What a sweet and touching story. The pops look great too.

  149. Thanks for the beautiful pops! My Son Mario is also an organ recipient. Thank you so much for helping us raise awareness for organ donation!

  150. you’ve brought tears to my eyes…what a small world it is, for 2 people to be touched by the same thing. Your an amazing woman!!!

  151. WOW those ‘pops’ are awesome, happy 16th birthday to you! The need for organ donation is wayyyyy more common that we would like. my daughter recieved her liver at age 12, she is now 19 and doing fine.
    thank you so much for making just one more person aware of the need to be an organ donor!
    patti

  152. Absolutely gorgeous and very near and dear to my heart. I was a kidney recipient in January ’07 and we just finished an awareness campaign on our blog.

  153. Thank you so much for creating these beautiful pops! We know Savannah and what a blessing it is to know her and her family. My daughter, Allison, also received the GIFT OF LIFE. We must never stop getting the word out about organ donation. It is truly the only way we can honor our donor angels. Thank you again and Happy Sweet Sixteen!

    Love,
    The Browns

  154. what an awesome thing you are doing. thanks for sharing those amazing stories. cool pops!

  155. Thanks for sharing those stories, they’re amazing. My cousin-in-law’s sister lost her baby recently and they donated her organs, and it changed my mind about organ donation. I’m a donor now, and I wasn’t before. You can read their story here:

    http://jacksonparkcity.blogspot.com/

  156. This post made me tear up. Your pops are beautiful. It makes me proud to be a registered organ donor.

  157. What a touching story!!! Organ donation is so incredibly important … I wish everyone would sign up to be an organ donor. I have been one since I turned 16, and I will happily share all of my viable organs when it is my time to go. I know several people whose lives have been saved by the selfless gift of life from organ donors. I am in nursing school, and I am hoping to work in a transplant unit once I am a nurse.

    By the way, as someone else mentioned, you should definitely check out that CFHusband blog … I read it regularly, and it has brought me to tears many, many times. Such a touching story.

    You are amazing, Bakerella!!! :)

  158. Thank you for sharing your story and letting us know about Savannah. Beautiful pops for a very worthy cause.

  159. This post did make me tear up a bit. If you had the chance to save at least one life, AFTER you have left this earth, why not do so. I used to say that I didn’t want to be an Organ Donor. It was just the whole idea of it that kind of creeped me out. But now, knowing people who are in need of organs and seeing the struggles they go through it changed my mind. What am I going to need them for after I am gone?

  160. Thank You! These pops are amazing but they honor an amazing Gift…the Gift of Life! Our donor angel’s family gave us this Gift and there is not a day that goes by … not a moment that we are not grateful for it…for without this Gift of Life Savannah would not be here today.

    Almost 100,000 people await an organ transplant on a daily basis as you are so keenly aware .. this is not JUST a number but a life represented behind each number…a family…friends…

    If you are not an organ donor .. please consider becoming one…one donor can save 8 lives! Savannah is a testament to the wonder and miracle of organ donation!

    To see Savannah’s amazing journey please visit her site at http://www.CotaForSavannahA.com – she is simply one miracle amongst many.

    Happy Sweet 16!

    XOXO,
    Ana Anselmo
    Proud Mami of Savannah (Warrior Princess!)
    http://www.CotaForSavannahA.com
    “Don’t Take Your Organs to Heaven. Heaven Knows We Need Them Here!”

  161. Bakerella,
    You have to take a look at this blog if you are supportive of organ donation

    http://www.cfhusband.blogspot.com/

  162. *gulp* Not easy hiding tears when the front of your office has glass walls. Beautiful story.

    Happy Sweet 16. I’m glad you’re here and Savanah too! I’m an organ donor.

  163. Thank you for this. I have been an organ donor since I was 16 years old. I used to have issues with my kidneys as a child and miraculously the issue cleared on its own. Beautiful story and thank you for sharing.

  164. What a wonderful story! And thank you for helping to raise awareness.

  165. What a great story! Thank you for sharing.

  166. Thank you for telling your and Savannah’s stories and raising awareness of this very important cause.

    As usual, the pops are look so good I want to lick the screen!

  167. Oh, darling, this is truly beautiful. I’m so glad to hear your story – there’s hope, after all. I intend to donate all my organs when I’m gone and I have made sure my family do as I say.

  168. Oh my, I’m in tears (then again, I’m overly empathetic). That was a very beautiful story, and a wonderful way for you to share not only your gift, but your life as well.

    I had two blood transfusions when I was a baby (1 week old, and one month old). Those transfusions saved my life 26 years ago, so I am an organ donor. I can’t donate blood (low iron and really low blood pressure), but I can give back another way.

    Now, if only my husband would be an organ donor too.

  169. What a perfect “partnership.” Thanks for sharing your story!

  170. Bakerella,

    Thank you so much for this beautiful post. It really touches my heart. My father in law (near and dear to my heart) is in the end stages of kidney failure. He is only now revealing it to us. My husband is rushing to take all the tests he needs to be able to donate his kydney. Yesterday we got the word – he’s the same blood type – great news!

    It’s a scary road, but we’re on it and going full speed. Hopefully we can get him what he needs in time. I love hearing your story and how it worked out for you. I just hope and pray it all works out for our family too.

    Thank you again,
    Katie

  171. What a touching story and how sweet of you to create these pops for Savanah. God bless you both!

  172. Bless your heart.

  173. Beautiful pops… And a very very good purpose. Indeed, I think there is no better purpose than this.

    Thanks to everyone who save anotherone’s live making a difficult decision at a very hard time. Their gift is the most precious one: live.

    I have to write this in spanish cause I’m not sure of my english.

    Hermosos dulces para un propósito inmejorable.

    Gracias a todos aquellos que salvan la vida de otra persona tomando una difícil decisión en el momento más duro. Su regalo es el más precioso que se puede dar: la vida.

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