If you’ve ever been told by your doctor that she’s concerned you might have cancer, you know exactly how I felt. Terrified barely covers it.
An even deeper panic hit me when I realized it would be impossible for me to afford the next round of testing. My insurance didn’t cover it and the cost was a third of what I made in an entire year. I was just a couple of years out of college and I was barely making ends meet, living paycheck to paycheck. There was no way. I told the doctor to cancel my appointment. I couldn’t get the tests. I spent the next several months wondering if I had cancer, wondering if it was growing and spreading throughout my body. And I was so scared to tell anyone because I was afraid it would make it more real.
I thought to myself, surely there’s got to be some foundation out there that helps people in these situations. I mean, I see 5K’s, cancer walks and ribbon sales being held all the time? People are raising money to fight cancer every day.
I started making phone calls. I called every cancer-related organization and association that I could think of and asked if they could help. They were all very sweet and sympathetic but not one said they could help me. They said they were sorry but the money they raised went to cancer research, not direct funding for people who need help paying for tests or treatment.
You can imagine my panic level at that point.
A few months later, by random luck, I came across an obscure state initiative where you could apply for a voucher, which would pay for the testing I needed. My application was approved. When I received the voucher — I’ll never forget it — it was a green slip of paper – I vowed that one day, when I became more financially established, I would help raise money for an organization that offered direct help to people. Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe in raising money for research, and that to find a cure, we have to look at the big picture. But I also believe, in the meantime, we have to look at the little pictures too – The people who need help fighting cancer right now. That’s what I love about the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. They do both, and not just breast cancer, but all types of women’s cancers. That was Kay Yow’s mission. Here’s a link for more on Kay Yow: Kay’s Story
So what happened with my test? It came back negative. No cancer. I was lucky. Ever since then, I’ve never stopped thinking about the thousands of women who can’t say the same. Who find themselves where I was: Left wondering what will happen.
Here’s how the #GoddessApproved Chef Challenge works:
Every Friday, a different Chef will be challenged to use his or her culinary prowess to cook a gourmet, cancer-fighting dish – aka- a Food of the Goddesses.
The dish must:
A. Be Deliciously Divine
B. Fit into the Paleo Lifestyle
(i.e. Grass-fed meats, fish/seafood, fresh vegetables, eggs, nuts, seeds, healthy oils, Low Sugar/Low carb)
C. Be 100% Real Food: No additives, chemicals, antibiotics or hormones
Each cooking segment will be filmed and every Friday we’ll post a new segment on my #GoddessApproved Chef Challenge cooking channel. This way we can all learn how to cook gourmet-level cancer-fighting dishes! Pow!
When a Chef cooks a dish that is #GoddessApproved, we’re asking any one who has been touched by cancer and believes in supporting this cause to make a donation to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund here: #GoddessApproved Donation Site
Cat Andersen is a broadcast journalist and TV host and has chosen the Kay Yow Cancer Fund as her charity of choice for the #GoddessApproved Chef Challenge. Fascinated by food and a self proclaimed nerd by nature, she spends her off-hours researching healthy, cancer-fighting foods and creating delicious dishes with those very ingredients. The concept of the Goddess Approved Chef Challenge gives the professionals a crack at it to raise money for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.