I was only 27 when my husband was diagnosed with Carcinoid Syndrome, a rare neuroendrocine cancer. We found out the week before his diagnosis that, after 18 months of trying, I was pregnant with our second son. Elation instantly turned to fear and panic. I had known several women who faced challenges during their pregnancies and marveled at their strength, quietly thinking to myself that I would never have been strong enough to survive. Suddenly I was one of those women and survival was the only option.
At first I didn’t know how to lean in; in fact what I did for the next two years was quite the opposite. I zeroed in and struggled to simply survive. I fought every day to get my family through what became an endless journey of doctor appointments and hours of research mixed with panic and fear. I clung tightly to the comfort that we were still a family; the one time we consistently came together was in the evenings, it was these nights together that gave me hope.
I knew that our family meals needed to change but I didn’t have time to research and plan a cancer-friendly diet. I spent hours on the Internet researching countless medical sites and often became discouraged and saddened by what I found. I felt like the only young family going through this. I experienced my child's first steps while trying to find childcare during chemo treatments.
It was then that I decided to lean in and create Culinary Cure, a website and blog that creates weekly meal plans and shopping lists for busy families and those with special dietary needs such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. I share uplifting stats, recipes and research about these special needs and at times focus on simply being a family, the most important thing in life. A significant portion of proceeds are donated to non-profits who fight tirelessly to provide resources that helped my family survive the past several years and became our lifeline for hope and inspiration.
My company is just starting and I hope that over the upcoming years we become a resource and inspiration for families like mine. If even one young mother realizes she is not alone then I have made a difference.