News 12 at 6 o'clock / Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Janell Knotts has always taught her children to treat others the way you want to be treated.
And even after her youngest son was diagnosed with cancer, her two daughters still remember that important message.
They began a project to help bring a little cheer to other children with cancer.
"You never imagine that this is going to be your child, and so when it does happen, it really rocks your world," Janell Knotts told News 12.
Her 4-year-old son, Benjamin, was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer just a week after his second birthday.
A healthy Benjamin Knotts, nearly three years later, told us, "When I was a little boy, I had cancer."
He went through a year of chemotherapy treatments.
He remembered those treatments, saying, "They put medicine in my body."
Thankfully, he is now in remission and no longer needs those painful treatments.
But, while he was in the hospital, his two older sisters had an idea to help other kids like their brother.
"They decided, since they're Girl Scouts, that they were going to start collecting cookies for the other families," their proud mother told us.
Autumn Knotts is a Brownie girl scout.
"We go to different people's houses and ask them if they'd like to donate girl scout cookies," the 8-year-old said.
Which are one of Benjamin's favorite things.
When we asked Benjamin how much he loved Girl Scout cookies, a big grin spread over his face, and he said "A really big lot!" spreading his arms out as far as they could reach.
We went door to door with the girls as they asked for donations.
Genevieve Knotts explained to one donor, "We give them to families at the hospital who have cancer."
For the past three years, the girls have gone door to door, collecting donations for the project they call, "Cookies for a Cause."
"We stay out pretty much all day when we collect donations," Genevieve said.
Their goal this year is 150 boxes -- all to be given to sick children and families at GHS Children's Medical Center in Augusta.
"They have a lot of financial burdens, and it's not like you can just go out and get everything you want. Sometimes the small things like Girl Scout cookies and things like that, they fall by the wayside," Janell said.
Which is exactly why the girls decided to make a difference.
"It feels really good," Autumn said. "It feels like they're a part of my family and I'm giving them something."
Their mom remembers the year they spent in and out of the hospital all too well, saying, "You just never think this is going to happen to you, and you're just amazed when they go through something that's pretty rough on them, and they actually take it and make it something better."
The girls will be collecting donations until the end of January and will deliver them to the hospital in February. So far, they have collected 80 boxes toward their goal of 150.