Portland turned me into a nerdy hippie. Well, I’ve always been pretty nerdy, but walking into Powell’s City of Books, the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world, my heart was stirred and curious. This place occupies an entire city block and all I could think about was the incredible knowledge and perspective held within these walls. I spent way too much time and money there, but I know every bit of it was worth it.
Then I wandered to the Portland Saturday Market. This is when I slowly turned into a hippie. Flower crowns, fresh organic foods, hand made everything, musicians playing in the streets and long flowy dresses. There were over 250 local artisans sharing and selling their creations. Needless to say, I put on a fun hat, enjoyed a fresh strawberry smoothie and bought a craft or two ;)
The people I met were just as spectacular. Lenore was a baker who was coming to share her story. I figured she would share about the founding of her business, what got her started and how she loves being an entrepreneur.
I had no clue that her story of opening a bakery would leave me in tears.
Lenore began to share how her first son, Hunter, was diagnosed with cancer at age 2. He fought with all his might, but at age 3.5, while his mom was 5 months pregnant with their second child, he passed away.
I sat there in shock trying to hold back the tears.
That is NOT how the story is supposed to go…
When Hunter’s 4th birthday rolled around, she decided to spend the day giving away toys to children in the hospital. She said it was either that or she would cry all day, so she chose to give away toys.
She asked for donations and toys flooded her house. This evolved into a non-profit she founded called the Healing Hunter Foundation. Then came the bake sales to support the non-profit. Suddenly people wanted her cupcakes for holidays, parties, bridal showers and graduations.
“Now we have a 5 star cupcake boutique. We offer bundles of sweetness that get delivered all over Portland in Hunter’s name.”
Lightning Cupcakes is named after Lightning McQueen, Hunter’s favorite character from the movie Cars.
I sat there in silence. Lenore is a champion. Childhood cancer is NOT how the story is supposed to go, but in a life that is wildly unpredictable, this woman channeled her broken heart to share the love of a child across a city.