Ducks and donuts come together to help children defeat cancer worries

Posted at 12:54 PM, Sep 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-05 21:01:29-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Donuts and coffee in the morning just got a little more hopeful for children about to undergo cancer treatments.

Duck Donuts and a nonprofit organization, Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program, have teamed to help provide relief for these children and make the process a smooth one.

"Whether it's a sugar rush when it comes to some freshly-made donuts or something comforting for a child,” Andrew Turlington, a Duck Donuts spokesperson, told News 3.

The campaign is now in its fourth year.

"They've given us a lot more exposure to local hospitals and that's been amazing,” Louise Sipos, the found of Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program, said.

The campaign has raised roughly $180,000 to purchase plush toy ducks and drawstring bags filled with other goodies for cancer-stricken children in Hampton Roads. The ducks are fitted with a small hospital gown and a tube replicating an implanted port.

The items are made possible by generous customers and anyone can contribute.

"Whenever we have a purchase that comes through, we ask if they want to donate their change towards the contribution,” Turlington said. “We can go and do something like a change round-up at the end of a purchase."

The staff at the Duck Donuts store in Norfolk, next to the Norfolk Premium Outlets, were preparing donuts for the morning as customers came in at 7 a.m. When asked by the cashier if a customer would like to round up to the nearest dollar total to contribute, some accepted.

For Sipos, the founder of the nonprofit, the campaign became personal after her son was diagnosed with cancer.

"Each and every time that I hear from a family, it means to the world to us that we have contributed to a child's treatment, even if it's in a tiny way," Sipos said.

The campaign goes throughout September in conjunction with Children’s Cancer Awareness Month. Contributions can be made at any Duck Donuts location or on the Gabe’s Chemo Duck Program website.

"If you know a child who is living with cancer, just know that there is help out there,” Sipos said.