Eat It, Cancer; One Family's Diagnosis Inspired a Food Business to Help Others

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A young woman transformed her father's fight against cancer into a business called Chemo Bites in order to help other patients identify healthy, nutritious foods they can eat while fighting cancer.

Typically, when a doctor delivers a cancer diagnosis to your family, you don’t start a business. Yet when Kirsten Rogers, founder of Chemo Bites, heard her father’s diagnosis, after the floor dropped out from beneath her she got busy finding a way to make a difference.

What began as a home-cooked project to nurture her father, David, from cancer to wellness, quickly grew into a business called Chemo Bites ( Hours researching nutrition for cancer patients and experimenting in the kitchen gave birth to a recipe blog. Her father’s request for snacks, sometimes all he could eat due to the side effects of chemotherapy, evolved to elaborate boxes of healthy, nutritious treats, Chemo Bites’ featured product.

“When you see someone you love so vulnerable, your urge to help kicks into overdrive. But it can be challenging to figure out the best way to show meaningful, effective support. For some patients, it’s a phone call. For others, like my dad, it was food.” For Kirsten, she discovered sharing healthy food with her father was the most impactful way to support him through treatment.

As many as 80% of cancer patients suffer from varying degrees of malnutrition*, a potentially life-threatening side effect of both invasive treatment drugs and the cancer itself. Nutritional therapy, in conjunction with an oncologist’s treatment plan, becomes critical in bolstering a patient’s immune system.

“When you’re on chemotherapy, your appetite is on a roller coaster. Often I couldn’t eat a full meal but the snacks were perfect; convenient, healthy and a much better option than the junk in hospital vending machines”. Her father, like many cancer patients, is at risk for malnutrition, so creatively adapting his diet has contributed to an optimistic prognosis.

Giving is at the core of Chemo Bites: a daughter giving to her father; family, friends and caregivers giving to the patients in their lives. “To be there for my father has been really empowering and I'd love other caregivers to feel they are making a substantial difference in lives of their loved ones. Chemo Bites Snack Boxes fulfill this need.” The last day to order a gift for Christmas delivery is December 18th.

Kirsten is ready to invite others onboard to be part of Chemo Bites. She recently launched a crowd funding campaign on Kickstarter ( and is currently inviting potential investors to informational interviews. Future plans include new products, a cookbook, and a mobile app.

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Kirsten Rogers
Chemo Bites
+1 (206) 499-9636
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since: 06/2013
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