Cynwyd Elementary School recently hosted the 7th Annual "Cal's Cupcake Challenge" benefiting The Calliope Joy Foundation and the Leukodystrophy Center of Excellence at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. With the help of Cynwyd students and staff, along with support from volunteers and ten local bakeries, this year's event was the most successful to date as the more than 1,200 guests in attendance ultimately helped raise $25,000 for the fight against leukodystrophy.
This year's program featured arts & crafts, a children's cupcake baking competition, face painting, moon bounces, prizes, delicious food and, of course, 5,000 cupcakes donated from the areas finest bakeries.
Calliope Joy Carr - nicknamed Cal - is the youngest child of Cynwyd parents Pat Carr and Maria Kefalas. Cal was diagnosed with late-infantile onset metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) at age 2 in 2012. Leukodystrophies are a group of disorders that affect the white matter of the brain. Children with leukodystrophies are born healthy but soon begin to regress as they lose the ability to crawl, walk, speak, eat, smile and laugh. Although leukodystrophies do not currently have cures, if detected in the newborn period, a stem cell transplant may be a therapeutic option for some patients. Early detection also allows for preventative care strategies to improve quality of life for children and their families. There are more than 60 forms of the disease and 1 in 5,000 are affected.
In 2013, Cal's brother came up with the idea to sell cupcakes to raise money and help the doctors find a cure for "Cal's disease." Since then, The Calliope Joy Foundation has sold 45,000 cupcakes and raised more than $775,000 through Cal's Cupcake Challenge, The Cupcake 5k and The Cupcake Gala. For more information about The Calliope Joy Foundation, click here.
To see a video created by the Chan Zuckerburg Initiative featuring Cal and The Calliope Joy Foundation's work for a cure, click here. To view a slideshow of photos from this year's event, click on the image below!