In 2011, Fran's Kitchen co-founder, Franchesca (Fran) Whitaker, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. The impact that cancer had on her family and friends was worrisome, strenuous and life changing. While battling this disease Fran and her husband quickly realized that her lifestyle had to change if she wanted to survive. The disease changed her eating habits, everything from the way she metabolized foods to her ability to keep down meals. During treatments she started experiencing symptoms including lack of appetite, nausea, changes in taste and difficulty swallowing, which impacted her ability to eat and consistently receive a healthy, well-balanced diet. Fran struggled with treatment-related fatigue and lack of energy. As a result of her not having a thyroid, she experienced significant weight complications, weakened immune systems and depression.
Fran spent a lot of her time conducting research and interviewing naturopaths, nurses, registered dietitians, cancer patients and cancer caregivers. She found that what she was experiencing was not uncommon in cancer patients, and that 50% to 80% of all cancer patients experience some sort of nutritional complication. She found significant scientific evidence that a proper diet can support and strengthen the immune system, increase energy levels and aid in the body's ability to withstand and respond to cancer treatment. Nutrition plays key role in recovery, this includes preventing weight gain or weight loss. A well balanced diet is also important after treatment for recurrence prevention. Patients/survivors struggle to consistently eat healthy, nutritious meals due to lack of time, taste, consistency and quality of food. Not to mention the lack of energy, motivation, knowledge and an absence of a better alternative in the market serving cancer patients’ unique and important needs.
Almost 80% of people with cancer never see a nutritionist; however scientific research found that early and ongoing nutritional intervention, such as nutritional counseling and changes in lifestyle, result in improved clinical and quality of life outcomes.
Fran's Kitchen was created to provide a single, comprehensive solution to current and previous cancer patients’ nutritional needs – delivery of healthy, nutritious meals for both current and previous patients, information that is useful and based on scientific studies, Our goal is to give our clients access to experienced, high-quality nutrition professionals.