A Recipe To Heal A Heavy Heart

Aaron Ware, whipping up a batch of cookies.
When 11-year-old Aaron Ware showed signs of depression a few months ago - his pediatrician prescribed something extremely unusual. After talking with the boy, Dr. Marilyn Corder came up with a treatment plan that was either pure genius or malpractice.

CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman reported Corder's prescription was, basically, make a batch of cookies - and call her in the morning.

"And that's exactly what I did," Aaron said. "I baked some cookies and I brought them back to her office to see how she liked them."

As Corder put it, "the rest is history."

Fortunately for Dr. Corder, it turned out to be pure genius.

"Sometimes it takes more than a prescription," Corder explained.

Aaron's story actually began on his birthday - their birthday. Aaron and his identical twin Eric were sons number two and three for Angela and Jeff Ware. Growing up outside D.C., the twins reveled in each other's company.

"He could find something good about any situation," Aaron said. "He'd just totally lift your spirits."

And that's why, when his brother died two years ago from brain cancer, Aaron was at a total loss.

"For awhile he thought he would come back," said Angela Ware. "He'd write notes to him and the next morning he'd see if Eric had wrote back. You can't explain that to a child."

And Angela says time didn't help either.

"He seemed to be getting more and more depressed," she said.

So last fall Angela made an appointment with his pediatrician. And it was during that exam that Dr. Corder noticed something. When she asked him what he likes to do - a smile crept onto Aaron's face.

"Bake," he said.

"Well then, you know what, that's what we're going to do," Corder told Aaron.

Her prescription was very specific: Start a baking company. Come up with a name for the company. Write a business plan.

"And she reached in her pocket and handed him $20 and said, 'I'm going to be your first investor. You report back to me and we'll see how it goes,'" Angela said. "He loved it. I hadn't seen him smile like that in months."

"It gave me something to do," Aaron said. "We did everything together and so having nothing to do is like not living. So I started baking and I just loved it."

His company is called Doughjangles. Aaron has one employee: his older brother Bryce who works for $2 a day - that's it.

"He won't let me eat any cookies until there's a profit, Bryce said."

They sell mostly to friends and family - donating half of all proceeds to the children's charities that helped Eric. Of course, Aaron still wishes he could talk to his twin, but at least now he has a pretty good idea of what Eric might say.

"He wouldn't want me to just be sitting on my bed watching TV trying to forget," Aaron said. "He would want me to do something that I love."

  • Steve Hartman

    Steve Hartman has been a CBS News correspondent since 1998, having served as a part-time correspondent for the previous two years.