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Recipes of love

Students at Blue Creek Elementary School are cooking up a cure with a cookbook to benefit a fellow student who is battling bone cancer.

The cultural cookbook, which will combine recipes from students, teachers, parents and community members, is scheduled to come out by Mother's Day.

The money left over after the cost of publishing the spiral, soft-bound cookbooks will go to the family of third-grader Ben Stowell, who is battling osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.

Third-grade teacher Kathy Berger said Stowell was diagnosed with cancer two years ago.

It started in the bones of his arms, said Berger. "And right now the cancer is in his lungs."

According to Berger, Stowell, 8, had surgery earlier in the year to remove tumors from his body at Albany Medical Center, and now, some of the tumors have returned. Stowell will soon begin experimental treatments.

"The traditional medicine isn't working the way we had hoped," said Berger.

Stowell's parents were unavailable for comment. Stowell has a Web site at www.greendrakkoman.com/index.html that details his struggle with cancer.

When Stowell is not at Albany Medical Center or other hospitals receiving treatment, Berger said, he attends school as much as he can.

Stowell and his third-grade class at Blue Creek are currently learning about countries around the world, which is what inspired Berger and several other Blue Creek teachers to come up with the idea of a cultural cookbook to benefit Stowell's treatments.

"It's a family cookbook, representing all of the different cultures and different foods that they're learning about," said another Blue Creek teacher Karen Hock.

Berger said the idea was spawned by one of her teaching partners, Trichia Carlson, whose own child took part in a similar fundraising effort at a school in another district.

The teachers teamed up to figure out a way for the fundraiser to work in North Colonie.

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