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MJ girl holds cookie sale for friend battling cancer

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By TOMI L. WILEYSpecial to The Wilson Post

MT. JULIET -- She only wanted two things for Christmas, and one of them isn’t even for her.

Ariana Crefeld, a home-schooled first grader in Mt. Juliet, told her mom, Andrea, she wanted an American Girl doll and to give money to her friend, Savannah Swandal, who has Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma, a form of cancer. Ariana said she wanted to have a cookie sale to raise money for Savannah’s family.

“I knew that no matter how busy I was, this was a time to drop everything that I thought was important and invest into the heart of my little girl,” Andrea said. “What a great opportunity to develop in her a heart for serving people.”

So Andrea, Ariana and her little sister, Naveya, set up the charity cookie sale for Saturday, Dec.19, in Willoughby Station, a Mt. Juliet subdivision. They sent out flyers, made 630 cookies, and hoped the “little cookie sale” would raise several hundred dollars.

“Even though it was a very cold and windy day, the cookie sale was overwhelmingly successful,” Andrea said Monday. “It was amazing to see the love and the generosity of the many people who came. We were busy from the time we were setting up to 5 minutes after 1 p.m. when we finished. One gentlemen asked Ariana for one cookie and a cup of hot chocolate and wrote a check for $1,000! The generosity of the people in the area has been amazing!”

Andrea said “the money is still coming in,” and they don’t have an exact total on how much money was raised – via the bake sale and donations – yet.

“We hope to finish up most of the collection and give it to them on Christmas day,” she said. “We are so grateful to all the people who stopped by and donated so generously. It was such an amazing day!”

Ariana said that she hopes her friend “fights cancer and doesn’t have it again. I hate cancer.

“I want to grow up and be a pediatrician and find the medicine that helps cancer,” the 6-year-old said. “Thank you everyone for coming to my cookie sale.”Savannah was diagnosed with cancer in 2006 at the age of 5, and she is currently fighting Alveolar Rhabdomyosarcoma for the third time. For more information on her fight and how you can help visit http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/savannahswandal/mystory. Donations may also be sent to Savannah Swandal, c/o Ariana Crefeld, P.O. Box 218, Mt. Juliet, TN 37122.

Editor’s Note: Tomi L. Wiley is the editor of The Chronicle of Mt. Juliet. She may be contacted at Editor@thechronicleofmtjuliet.com.

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