My name is Catherine and I am a sophomore at Weston High School in Weston, Massachusetts. When I was 4 years old, I was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma cancer. Neuroblastoma is a rare type of cancer that is commonly found in young children and it diagnoses appropriately 500 people each year, worldwide. My case of Neuroblastoma was more unusual and complicated than the doctors had expected, due to the fact that my tumor was secreting adrenalin, spiking my blood pressure to dangerous levels. Night after night I stayed at the hospital, constantly attached to many machines and tubes. My whole world was a hectic blur, spinning, whirling, and twirling around me, so quickly that I wasn’t able to process it all. Together, my mother and I stayed a full month in the hospital, each day harder and more difficult. But, when I was in the hospital, there was one thing I always looked forward too.
One day each week, a person dressed in a funny clown costume went around our hospital wing with a cart full of sweets. Cookies, candies, brownies, chocolates, and my favorite- Ice cream! With an assortment of different desserts to choose from, I became the ultimate connoisseur of dessert. I carefully combined a variety of different sweets on my plate, making sure I had covered every delicious flavor available. During this period in the hospital, my eyes really opened up to the beautiful world of desserts. When I was little, I always wanted to participate in helping my grandmother and older sister bake different pies or cakes. Being younger, I was always left out, only allowed to watch them bake. When my freshmen year of high school came around, I was put in a cooking class. Cooking opened my eyes once again to a whole new world, filled with delicious foods of all kinds. I finally was able to let my creativity shine in the kitchen, combining with my love of desserts. Checking out dozens of books from the library and photocopying the recipes, I baked it all. In school when I had finished my homework, I would go search up recipes from my favorite baking blogs. Just envisioning the delectable tastes made my mouth water, and I always have a constant crave to be in the kitchen. In school, I received a lot of recognition for my obsession with baking. I won the class “Iron Chef” cooking competition with my White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake, and had even received an award for cooking class.
Only a year later as a sophomore, my love for baking and desserts has increased. I will use any excuse to be in the kitchen- whether it be baking for someone’s birthday, a class event, an injured person, or even a volleyball game. I absolutely adore the feeling I get when I am baking, and seeing the cheerful expression’s of other people when I give them a dessert I baked makes me overjoyed. I really like giving other people things, especially when they are homemade. I think that baking really allows me to connect with other people and make them happy, even if it is just for a little while. I am apart of the “Baking For The Needy” club at Weston High School, and I am the person who decides which charity we deliver the goods we bake. I have participated in countless amounts of bake sales in the past two years, but recently, I have wanted to start something bigger.
I am a very ambitious person, and have always wanted to create my own non-profit charity organization. The problems that have been stopping me were 1) lack of ideas or 2) conflicted on how to combine too many abstract ideas. At the end of August, I created a baking blog called “chefcatherine.tumblr.com.” I post various reviews on recipes I have tried and many pictures of delicious looking food. After long hours of thoughts and planning, I finally came up with “Chef Catherine’s Sweet Treats for a Change.”