8-year-old cancer survivor sells 32,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies, devotes proceeds to research
An 8-year-old cancer survivor in San Bernardino, California, is using some of the proceeds from her Girl Scout cookie sales to give back to others fighting cancer.
Lilly Bumpus, who has been a girl scout for four years, said she sold 32,484 boxes of Girl Scout cookies, crushing the previous record of roughly 26,000 boxes sold within three months.
In an email statement to CNN, a spokesperson for the Girl Scouts of America said the organization applauds “Lilly’s entrepreneurial efforts, awesome sales goal, and donations!”
The Girl Scouts of America said it doesn’t track official top cookie sellers at the national level. However, “there are so many impressive cookie bosses throughout the United States, and our 111 councils, which handle their own sales tracking, may track their top sellers locally” like Bumpus, the spokesperson said.
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Bumpus’ troop, which includes other childhood cancer survivors or family members of someone who has battled cancer, is allocating a majority of the funds they raised toward cancer research and feeding the homeless.
Of the more than 32,000 boxes sold, 5,200 boxes are also being donated to “fellow childhood cancer warriors in the hospitals,” Bumpus, who posted the record on her Facebook page on March 23, said.
“It’s just so crazy,” Bumpus told CNN about her record number of sales.
Bumpus was born with Ewing sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. She has been cancer-free since just before her first birthday. But Trish Bauer, Bumpus’ mother, told CNN it’s been a “long road” for her daughter, who started a treatment made for adults at three months of age.
“Dear world, childhood cancer isn’t rare and they can’t fight alone!” Bauer wrote on her daughter’s Facebook page. “It remains the lowest funded form of cancer research and because of that kids like my little girl who was born with it and is now a survivor fights to sell cookies to try to fix it. They can’t fight alone!”
Bumpus’ initial goal was to sell 5,000 boxes — and as she sold more, it increased to 20,000. Bauer wasn’t sure they would be able to reach that goal.
“We thought 20,000 would be a miracle,” Bauer said.
With the continuation of the pandemic, the Girl Scouts of America had to get creative for cookie season. Besides safe in-person sales, the cookies were also sold online for a second year and, for the first time, through food delivery service Grubhub.
But Bumpus ended up surpassing her 20,000 boxes goal before March 21, which is when cookie season ended. Bauer said she didn’t reveal the final box tally so it would remain a surprise until Bumpus’ gathering with her troop on March 22.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Bauer wrote that the world is “showing my 8 year old cookie hustling cancer survivor that together we can and will end cancer. That nothing is impossible when you make it possible!”
The Girl Scouts spokesperson described Bumpus as “a true entrepreneur and a go-getter” who “embodies what the Girl Scout Cookie Program is all about.”