Cuisine for Healing™ was created by the late Wendy Wilkie, a young mother who was in the middle of her tenacious battle with breast cancer. During her fight, Wendy turned to food to help heal and prolong her quality of life. The power of healthy, healing food allowed Wendy to defy the odds, living more than twice as long after her Stage IV diagnosis than doctors predicted. She created Cuisine for Healing to help make immune-boosting meals and educational information easily and readily available to others fighting for their lives.
Here is Wendy’s story….in her own words…
“Hi, my name is Wendy, and I am a Stage IV Breast Cancer Survivor!
I was first diagnosed May 1999…I was 42 years old. The cancer was very small, but very aggressive. I had a mastectomy followed by six rounds of chemotherapy. I took Tamoxifen (the recommended hormone therapy for estrogen positive cancer). Four years later, October 2003, a bone marrow biopsy confirmed the cancer had metastasized. It was in my bone marrow, liver and spleen. I had Stage IV Breast Cancer and the doctors at MD Anderson told me the average person might live two years! Wow…what do you do with information like that? I quickly responded with ‘I’m not average’ and proceeded to fight for my life. I had two children, ages 8 and 10 and I wanted to live!
A friend of mine sent me a book Beating Cancer with Nutrition by Patrick Quillin, PHD, RD, CNS. Dr. Quillin served as Director of Nutrition for Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) for 10 years. I made an appointment at CTCA to be seen as a patient. At this time, my cancer was stable but it wasn’t getting better. I learned a lot about nutrition and its role (and difference) for a cancer patient. CTCA has a cafeteria at their hospital unlike any you’ve ever seen. They serve healthy, healing food and it tastes fabulous!! I learned that not only is a well-nourished cancer patient better able to manage and beat the disease…it gives them such a better quality of life.
Back home it was extremely difficult to find food that was ‘clean and untainted.’ Not only eating out, but buying food at the grocery store as well. I was reading labels on everything, mainly to ensure that I didn’t ingest any hormones, antibiotics, preservatives and most important…sugar!
One day I was discussing all of this with a friend of mine who had graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and had owned a catering company in Austin. We talked about how much information was available regarding healing food on the Internet, the bookstores and libraries. There were millions of recipes available as well, but there wasn’t any food ‘readily available’ or ‘already prepared.’ The only way I could eat this way was to shop for the food and make it at home. I was a single mom with two young children and still working full-time while taking chemo treatments. I didn’t have the energy. This food needed to be readily available, already prepared. We had identified the need, and the idea was born.
Cuisine for Healing began to take shape and we’ve worked for a year and a half to develop the concept. It’s a huge undertaking…but I think we can make a huge difference for people who are fighting a life-threatening disease as well as those who are interested in prevention. It IS an idea whose time has come!!”
~ Wendy Wilkie
Originally diagnosed in 1999, Wendy passed away in August, 2008 during her third battle with cancer. She was driven and passionate about Cuisine for Healing’s mission to the very end. Her big heart, selflessness, tenacity and spirit live on as we carry the torch forward to fulfill her vision and grow Cuisine for Healing to help others.