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The Wunder Project is honored to unveil the Annette Cook Memorial Fund. It is here that we honor and remember this incredible individual: a wife, mother, entrepreneur, and ultimate cancer warrior. Please join us in making a donation to help find the cure in memory of Annette Cook.


Annette was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin on April 2nd, 1964, the 5th of 6 children. A beautiful, talented, and intelligent young woman, Annette attended the University of Wisconsin and went on to pursue a career in Optometry in California. When her parents passed away and she found herself in nearly $100,000 of student loan debt, Annette decided to change course.

After grieving the loss of her parents, she decided to focus on celebrating life. Tapping into her love for children and desire to bring peace and comfort to the masses, she launched Barefoot Dreams in 1994, a manufacturer of luxurious blankets and loungewear.

Shortly after launching Barefoot Dreams, she met and married Stan, the love of her life. Together, the two continued to grow and develop the company — and their lives — in Malibu. Together, they had three wonderful sons: Grayson, Chase, and Preston. Barefoot Dreams continued to thrive and, in 2003, their products were named as one of Oprah Winfrey’s “Favorite Things.”

In September of 2009, Annette was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. She began treatment at USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, under the care of Dr. Heinz-Josef Lenz. The two became close and Annette became a friend to many patients. One of those patients was Gloria Borges, the founder of The Wunder Project.

Annette and Gloria met in October of 2010, and the two became fast friends and shared a remarkable bond. Through their friendship, they found strength, and each of them cheered on the other through every surgery and every round of chemotherapy. Their mutual respect and support, while enduring the trial by fire of cancer treatment, resulted in a friendship unlike most. Through it all, both women marveled at the other’s strength and courage. Annette admired Gloria, and Gloria admired Annette.

To recognize her incredible spirit and strength, Gloria decided to honor Annette with one of the inaugural awards at The WunderGlo Foundation’s 1st Annual Cancer Warrior Awards event in June of 2012. Annette graciously accepted the award, rousing the audience with her heartfelt and hopeful words.

Annette’s health began to decline in the fall of 2012, and Gloria was there when she learned that she’d have to stop chemotherapy treatments. Gloria held her hand as Annette assured her that she hadn’t given up hope. Even on one of the most devastating days of her life, Annette showed resolute strength and incredible grace.

Annette Leslie Cook died on December 29th, 2012, at the age of 48. She is survived by her husband, Stan Cook, her boys Grayson, Chase, and Preston, her siblings and their

spouses, her mother-in-law, brother-in-law, nieces and nephews, and many friends. She is also survived by her friend, Gloria, who has made it part of her mission to keep Annette’s legacy of hope, strength, and courage alive in her personal life and through The WunderGlo Foundation. She’s done it by tattooing Annette’s initials on her wrist, she’s done it by dedicating The Wunder Project’s moving documentary to her memory, and she’s done it by renaming The WunderGlo Foundation’s annual event as the “Annette Cook Cancer Warrior Awards.”

And now, in honor of her spirit and legacy, Gloria and The Wunder Project team are proud to launch the Annette Cook Memorial Fund.

Every dollar donated to the Annette Cook Memorial Fund will go to the first and crucial platform of The Wunder Project: extensive genome sequencing of thousands of colon cancer tumor samples. This work will enable our medical team to understand the different subtypes of colon cancer and why certain tumors behave in one way while others behave differently – the bedrock of understanding colon cancer and developing the drugs and drug combinations to cure it.

The funding necessary for this first platform is $25M. It is our first step to finding the cure, and a huge one. And it will be done in memory of our inspiration, Annette Cook.