The fourth-grade class at Cynwyd Elementary School recently hosted a Cupcakes & Crafts Fundraiser as part of the Owls’ ongoing support of The Calliope Joy Foundation - the eponymously-named non-profit started in honor of former Cynwyd student Calliope Kefalas-Carr, who passed away in 2022 after a long battle with metachromatic leukodystrophy.
Students, staff and parent-volunteers worked hard in preparation for the event, baking and decorating tons of delicious cupcakes as well as producing a collection of cool crafts that were then made available for purchase during a special two-day sale at Cynwyd!
At the age of two, Calliope, also known as Cal, was diagnosed with late-infantile onset metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD), a rare degenerative genetic disease that stole her ability to walk, eat and talk, but never stopped her from laughing and smiling.
Doctors originally told the Kefalas-Carr family that it was likely that Cal would not live beyond the age of six. However, in December 2021, Cal defied all scientific odds and celebrated her 12th birthday. She joined the five percent of children with her disease who live to the age of 10. A few months later, Cal passed away on March 24, 2022.
Upon learning of Cal’s diagnosis, her brother had the idea to sell cupcakes to help raise money for doctors researching a cure for “Cal’s disease.” What started off as a local bake sale grew into The Calliope Joy Foundation (CJF) – a non-profit started in Cal’s honor to help support other children with leukodystrophy and their families.
Since 2013, The Calliope Joy Foundation has sold over 45,000 cupcakes and raised nearly a million dollars through annual events. In addition to directly assisting families, the foundation helped establish the nation’s first Leukodystrophy Center of Excellence at the world-renowned Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Cynwyd is honored to continue their support for the beloved Cal and The Calliope Joy Foundation! To view a series of images from the recent fundraiser, click through the slideshow below!