Health & Wellness

13-Year-Old Girl Spends Birthday Donating to Cancer Center

She worked hard to raise funds for a cause that's very close to her heart.

While most 13-year-old girls celebrate their birthdays by going shopping or hanging out with friends, Mary Claire Harper had a much sweeter idea in mind.

The Little Rock, AK girl spent her first day as a teenager handing over a $1,000 check to a local cancer center. She raised the money herself by selling baked goods at a local farmer's market.

Mary Claire presents a check to her local cancer center.Source: CARTI Arkansas Facebook

Mary Claire started baking five years ago and has been perfecting her cookie recipes ever since.

"I get great reviews," she told THV11-TV .

She teamed up with her teacher and best friend to bake hundreds of cookies for a school community service project. After selling 500 cookies at a school event, she set up shop at the Little Rock Farmer's Market last week and ended up selling another batch of 500. Altogether, Mary Claire raised $1,000 for the CARTI Cancer Center in Little Rock.

Mary Claire sold 1,000 cookies to raise $1,000 for cancer care.Source: THV11-TV

The cause is close to the teenager's heart,; Mary Claire's mother, Michelle Harper, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer 25 years ago and in 2018, the cancer came back. Currently, Michelle (pictured below with her daughter) is in remission. CARTI helped her fight the disease when she was first diagnosed.

Mom Michelle and teen fundraiser Mary Claire.

(Source: Michelle Harper Facebook )

Michelle expressed her gratitude for her daughter's generosity in an interview with THV11-TV . "The fact that Mary Claire wanted to give back to CARTI is just precious - very, very meaningful to me," Michelle said.

Mary Claire hopes that her donation will go to help other families who are struggling to stay strong in the face of cancer.

"It'll be hard, it'll be difficult but just know that you'll be able to get through it," Mary Claire said.

To make your own donation to the CARTI Foundation you can visit the donation page on the organization´┐Żs website.

You can also mail your payment to:

CARTI Foundation

P.O. Box 55011

Little Rock, AR 72215

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