Local woman & volunteers bake cakes for kids with cancer


Anchor - Laura Emerson
Photojournalist - David Dycus
Web Editor - Mason Stevenson

PRINCETON, Ky. – A local woman started baking cakes at home for kids battling cancer.  Now, she has a growing, nationwide network of others joining her.

Cathy Lewis’ “Cakes Against Cancer for Kids” organization is an uplifting experience during a tough time.  The talented home baker got inspired to make the special birthday cakes a couple of years ago for kids in her area who received a cancer diagnosis.

When she saw how welcome her customized gift of baking was, she started recruiting bakers from all over.

One of those, Laray Waltmon.  She was given the task of building a “Duck Dynasty” themed cake to help a boy turning eight years old.  It was complete with camoflauge fondant icing, a duck call and shell casings.

“We had to bake two different types of cake.  He wanted strawberry and a white cake, so we did two different cakes,” Waltmon said.

Sometimes, the recipients get to custom order what they want.  Other times, it’s a surprise like Tristin Spindler’s X-Box cake was on his 14th birthday.

“I just saw her like pull up, ya’ know, and I was like who is that?  And she came in with the cake and I was like ‘Whoa!  This is mine,” Spindler said.

At first, the idea of a designer cake for a child fighting for their life might sound frivolous.  But it’s actually a welcome, luxurious distraction at a time when the family could use something to life their spirits.

“I would never have been able to afford to buy a cake like that for him, so it was really, really special,” Mandy Spindler, Tristin’s mom said.

That’s what inspired founder Cathy Lewis to keep recruiting people who can pull out all the stops to create edible works of art.  Her 30-state network of volunteers includes more than 200 bakers so far.

“These kids are going through so much that's not normal, that's not a normal kid thing and when they get to receive a cake and celebrate a birthday, and do something that's totally normal and kid-like the smile on their face just makes it all worth it,” Lewis said.

The found says more than 50 more kids will get cakes before the end of May.

For more information on how to get involved with “Cakes Against Cancer for Kids,” click here.

To connect with them on Facebook, click here.

Cathy Lewis doesn’t allow everyone to bake a cake for these children.  Volunteer bakers must successfully pull off a show-stopping cake.