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Sweet Support: Cookie community backs Sevier Co. baker overcoming brain tumor

The Sevier County baker doesn't charge people for recipes or advice. She just wants to help them learn.

SEVIER COUNTY, Tenn. — It all started with a $60 Santa Claus cookie cutter.

"And I opened the box and I looked at him and I said, Santa, we have to make this work."

Lisa Snyder quit her job in 2009 and needed to find something new to do.

That's when she saw those Santa cookies on TV and decided to see if she could recreate them.

"I stayed in this kitchen and I hugged and loved cookies," said Snyder.

Ten years, a blog, and a book deal later -- cookies are now her full-time job.

"I get paid to do this, which is awesome! It is so much fun," said Snyder.

Known to her fans as 'The Bearfoot Baker,' Snyder has more than 42,000 Instagram followers who watch her decorating videos and read her tips.

The Sevier County baker doesn't charge people for recipes or advice. She just wants to help them learn.

"You know what my goal in life is? To get everyone in the world to decorate cookies," Snyder said.

But a couple months ago, these online followers changed from fans to supporters.

Snyder dealt with a severe unknown illness for nearly two years until she finally got a diagnosis this spring.

"I went to a new doctor, she ordered an MRI," said Snyder. "A couple days later they told us that I had a massive brain tumor and I needed to go straight to the neurosurgeon."

Going into her surgery to remove that tumor in March, she took to the internet to ask her cookie friends for help.

"I need something from you guys," Snyder said in a video posted to her Instagram page. "I need you guys to pray for me, please. Just pray that God's work will be done and it won't be anything traumatic at all. We're just gonna go through it and we're gonna come out the other side. If you don't care, pray for me."

And that's what they did.

"I had people all over the world sending me emails and Facebook messages and Instagram messages telling me they're praying for me and I've never met them," said Snyder.

Three months later, Snyder is still feeling the impact of thousands of anonymous prayers for her recovery.

"I actually felt the people praying for me and I felt the people showing me love," she said.

She even made a cookie of her tumor, that she named Bouncer, to cope with the very thing that almost killed her.

Credit: The Bearfoot Baker

"When you picked up the cookie, the tumor fell out," said Snyder. "And that's what I needed to see. It was hard making those cookies. It was very emotional."

Now, Snyder is just ready to get back to baking full time.

"God is just lifted me up and here I am," she said. "I'm ready to go again."

Snyder wants to hit home that if you feel something's off, go see a doctor.

Don't wait as long as she did to prioritize your health.

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