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Donor Gift Supports Women with Cancer

Many studies demonstrate the benefit of cancer survivorship programs to increase quality of life and help cancer survivors and their families manage the physical, emotional, and social effects of cancer and cancer treatment, as well as improve their overall health and well-being.

At the Alvin J. Siteman Cancer Center, survivorship support is a critical part of treatment and recovery. On August 24, women with cancer participated in a Live Better Workshop with Chef Ryan Callahan, author of Cooking for Chemo. The event was funded through the generosity of Robert Ashton, who made this program possible with a generous gift to the Together Support Fund in memory of his wife Pauline.From left: Nancy Tecu, WHNP-BC, AOCNP, Robert Ashton, Ryan Callahan, Rochelle Hobson, RN, MSN, CHPN

During the Cooking for Chemo workshop, Chef Ryan explored the sensory components of taste for nearly two dozen women and their caregivers. “Eating is the entire human experience in a nutshell,” says Chef Ryan. As his mother’s primary caregiver during her treatment for breast cancer, he learned firsthand that chemotherapy can impact the palate, giving many foods a metallic taste. During her chemotherapy, he experimented with flavors, aromas, and textures to prepare meals she would find appetizing.  “Cooking for Chemo is about getting you back to your next bite of food.”

Chef Ryan delved into the science of taste, encouraging everyone to start from scratch to relearn their palates and reignite the romance with food through textures, temperatures, and new associations. He encouraged attendees to experiment with spices and provided attendees with recipes and worksheets to take home.

Rochelle Hobson, RN, MSN, CHPN, manager of the survivorship program at Siteman Cancer Center, says, "Survivors often experience taste changes and weight loss or gain and don't know where to go for support. Events like this take care of the 'whole' person."

Visit Siteman Cancer Center to learn about upcoming programs or contact Jennifer Jones at (314) 273-5855 or [email protected] to learn how to support similar programs. Make a gift to the Together Support Group Fund and help cancer survivors and their families improve their overall health and well-being. 

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