9-year-old Baldwin County cancer survivor chosen as Head Kid Che - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

9-year-old Baldwin County cancer survivor chosen as Head Kid Chef for IHOP

MOBILE, AL (WALA) -

A Baldwin County kid is now the head kid chef for IHOP nationwide. You probably remember 9-year-old Starla Chapman whose battle with leukemia started at the age of 2. Well now she's cancer free and an award winning chef! She was chosen for her oatmeal raisin cookie pancakes over hundreds of other contestants across the country.

She's got a recipe for a champion. Now 9-year-old Starla Chapman has the bragging rights as Head Kid Chef for IHOP.

"It's an oatmeal raisin cookie pancake with oats, raisin, cinnamon and buttermilk pancakes," Starla said. "I was just like 'what did I actually win? Did I actually win? Is this a dream? Is this a dream?' "

Her pancakes are unmatched with a delightful smell--and a taste that is sure to satisfy a sweet tooth but even sweeter? Starla's personality.

"Ummm. Excited, amazed, just all the words that mean super happy!" exclaimed Starla.

Family and friends couldn't be more proud of Chef Starla.

"Its just an overwhelming and amazing experience as a parent," said  Deandra Chapman, Starla's mom.

Starla was all smiles today but her smile got even bigger when her favorite person stepped through the doors. He's someone family says she has a connection with like no other. Mobile native and NFL player AJ Mccarron showed up today to help celebrate his goddaughter Starla's win.

"They just have a special connection ever since they met. I can't explain it. I don't know really if anybody in either family could ever explain it, its just a connection they have," Dee Mccarron, AJ's mom said.

With her big smile, bright eyes and bubbly personality, its hard to believe she was very sick just a few years back.

"I was there and I'm here now and I say like 'is that really me? Is that really me?' and I'm here right now just seeing old pictures of me and seeing where I am now, its just wow," said Starla.

Starla was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. She went into cardiac arrest as a result of the chemo therapy. Now with a healthy heart her mom says it's a testimony of faith.

"Its hard to see beyond that place of your child laying there sick until death literally. Its hard. We were sitting there in 2011, we couldn't see 2018. We couldn't see past what was going on right at that moment and just to be on the other side of that battle is just an amazing feeling," said Deandra

The journey isn't over by far. This month, Starla's taking her talents to Disney where they will make her pancakes for a breakfast they're having. The Children's Miracle Network Hospitals sponsored this contest.

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