“It makes me ecstatic, knowing their little faces light up when see these cakes that they’re not expecting,” said Tina, who was first approached by a Make-A-Wish Arizona to create a cake for wish kid Richard on his 11th birthday.
“His birthday is on Cinco De Mayo, so he wished to have a party to celebrate with his family and friends,” she said.
Since then, Tina has continued to create memorable baked goods that not only enhance childrens’ wish experiences but changed her outlook on life.
In October 2015, Tina was working on a one-of-a-kind Grinch cake for 15-year-old wish kid Jazmin, who was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of stomach cancer.
Jazmin wished to receive a blessing from Pope Francis, and, not long after her arrival home her family knew her condition was growing worse and she may not make it to Christmas. With the help of Jazmin’s family and friends, they planned a Christmas in October party to celebrate Jazmin’s favorite holiday a little early.
“After hearing her story and meeting with Jazmin, I emailed party planners who I work with, and one of them immediately responded. She put this massive event together, it was truly a labor of love,” said Tina.
Both Jazmin’s personality and the meaning behind her wish had a long-lasting impact on Tina. During her time spent working with Jazmin to create her Christmas cake, she formed a bond with Jazmin and her family.
“When she saw the cake, Jazmin literally collapsed in my arms and cried.”
It wasn’t until two weeks after Jazmin’s passing in November 2015 that, Tina was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I didn’t know it, but I had breast cancer at the time I met Jazmin,” Said Tina. “Jasmin taught me how to handle cancer with grace.”
Now 3-years cancer free, Tina continues to create extravagant cakes and treats for Make-A-Wish Arizona and wouldn’t have it any other way. After 18 years in the accounting business, Tina never thought her career change of opening a bakery would lead her here.
“Baking is very relaxing for me and I’m so grateful I get to spend time helping others while doing the thing I love most.”