written by JENNIFER COLOSIMO | photo by KELLE MAC PHOTOGRAPHY
There are a lot of things you can accomplish in the time it takes to snap your fingers. Fighting — and beating — Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is not usually one of them. So, when Susan Stachler came home a week before her graduation from Auburn University and learned she had cancer, she had no idea what would happen next. What she did know was that her Aunt Sue was diagnosed with the same disease at her age and did not survive.
“I’m a planner,” Stachler said. “I like to keep things black and white, clean and clear cut, but with cancer that all goes out the window.”
What came next was moving home, undergoing treatment and, in a sense, starting over. She never would have guessed that included spending the weekend in the garage, in her pajamas, baking hundreds of gingersnaps for other cancer patients. No, gingersnaps wouldn’t provide a cure or change the world, but Stachler saw something deeper in the secret family recipe: she could make a huge difference by simply making another person smile (although her own may be infectious enough). That idea turned into a business appropriately named Susansnaps.
“We all know someone who has been affected by this cruel disease, but most of us are at a loss as to what to say or do,” she explained. “We found (and baked) a fun, uplifting and tasty way to say ‘thinking of you’ to those who need it most.”
It’s no surprise Stachler’s cookies are now in national demand. Due to her dedication to spreading their message, Susansnaps have been on “World News Tonight with David Muir’s ‘Made in America’” as well as the “Today” show with Katie Couric and celebrity chef Bobby Flay’s TV show.
“I gained a heightened sense of awareness that life can change in an instant, so why not go for it?” Stachler added. “I am stronger than I thought. Being named for my aunt and then being diagnosed with the same cancer she had, I felt a unique responsibility to live up to the legacy and the example she left me.”
“Susan’s perseverance, her positivity and her determination is always what has inspired me,” said Laura Stachler, Susan’s mom and business partner. “It still does, every single day. We’ve been through a lot of bad stuff together, so this part is easy.”
We’d even call it a snap.
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