SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - When Lilly Bumpus learned she broke the record for selling the most Girl Scout cookies ever in one year, the 8-year-old knew she wanted to use the funds to fight childhood cancer. She was diagnosed with cancer herself as a baby.
"I’m going to be using some of my cookie money for childhood cancer research," Lilly told FOX Television Stations Monday. "People think children getting childhood cancer is rare but it really isn’t."
Lilly broke the national sales record by selling more than 32,000 boxes over the past three months, according to the Girl Scouts of San Gorgonio Council. The previous record was a little more than 26,000 boxes.
Lilly said her sales came from a mixture of online orders, in-person deliveries and booth sales outside her home in San Bernardino, California. Thin Mints and Caramel deLites were her top sellers.
Lilly’s troop said $20,000 will go to purchasing technology to help with cancer research for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and also towards feeding those in the homeless community through the Hiccups Pizza Project.
"I’m going to help because I know how hard it is," Lilly continued. "Me and all those kids that are fighting cancer, boys or girls, we can change the world. We can make our future."
Lilly was born with Ewing sarcoma, a type of cancer that affects the bones, or the tissue surrounding the bones, according to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
"I was cancer-free when I was one year old," she said. "So I’m seven years cancer-free but I’m doing really good."
Her mother, Trish Bauer, beams with pride at her daughter’s accomplishment.
"Seeing her at her worst, pull out what most people can’t do at their best was very eye-opening for me," Bauer told FOX Television Stations. "She wants to make a difference bigger than her own footprints. She’s my hero."
Lilly said she joined the Girl Scouts four years ago to experience sisterhood - and enjoy the cookies, of course.
"I love cookies. I like wearing fancy vests and have all kinds of patches," she said.
According to the American Cancer Society, nearly 10,500 children in the U.S. under the age of 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in 2021. Childhood cancer rates have been rising slightly for the past few decades.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.