Patient With Cancer Turned Away from Hospital Due to COVID-19 Case Surge, Chef Cooks for Patients With Cancer and More
A chef who lost her job during the pandemic started cooking for cancer patients.
Courtney Kennedy had previously worked as a chef at an acclaimed restaurant on New York City’s Upper East Side before being fired due to the pandemic. However, rather than look for a new job at a restaurant, Kennedy decided to cook for cancer patients at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
She now works as a cook in a kitchen of 50 people, 30 of whom prepare food for 498 patients three times a day.
“The first shift I worked was from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and I was like, ‘Oh wow, I’ve never seen so many eggs in my life,’” Kennedy told Grub Street.
Cooking for patients was a huge change for Kennedy. She explained that in restaurants she often felt that there was a “you-versus-them” mentality among chefs towards customers, and that they “want to get you.” Now her concern is based more on making sure patients get the right nutritional needs, such as softer foods for patients with esophageal cancer.
“I’m not a dietitian, but to give someone something worth eating if they can only eat mashed potatoes — we need to get fat there — or if they only want a little bit of food, that’s hard,” she said. .
Kennedy added that she only wants patients to feel cared for and for the chefs to constantly accommodate specific requests.
“It’s grooming, but it’s a different kind of grooming — it’s hospital grooming.”
A bed shortage caused by COVID-19 at a Florida hospital resulted in an emergency cancer patient being turned away.
A radiation oncologist in Tampa, Florida, Dr. Nitesh Paryani, told this week that he was forced to send a cancer patient away after there were no beds or rooms to treat them.
While the hospital would typically accept this patient — who had been transferred from a nearby hospital so they could access appropriate treatment options — they were out of space due to the high number of patients with COVID-19 filling the hospital.
Many hospitals are reporting an influx of patients in the ICU due to the Delta variant of COVID-19, as well as staff shortages caused by burnout and illness, according to CNN.
“Delta is just ripping through the hospitals in ways we couldn’t have imagined and the strain it is putting on the health care system is unimaginable,” Paryani said.
Hugh Jackman pleaded with fans to be checked for skin cancer after an irregular biopsy.
After a recent biopsy for an irregular spot on his nose, Hugh Jackman posted a video on social media highlighting the importance of taking preventive measures against skin cancer.
Jackman, 52, has a history of skin cancer.
“They saw something that was a little erratic, so they took a biopsy and had it checked,” Jackman said, according to TODAY. “So if you see a picture of me with this on, don’t panic. Thanks for your concern.”
He also urged people to wear sunscreen and be constantly checked for skin cancer. The actor has had several skin cancer fears over the years, with one in 2017 where he shared a photo of his face after surgery, writing, “Another basal cell carcinoma. Thanks to frequent checkups and great doctors, all is well. off (with) the dressing on then off!”
A 6-year-old cancer survivor organized a lemonade stand for childhood cancer awareness.
Aliyah Garcia, 6, decided to set up a lemonade stand to raise awareness for a childhood cancer treatment program. Garcia was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in May 2020 and received radiation and chemotherapy in preparation for a bone marrow transplant — for which she was matched with a donor through the Be the Match program.
The Be the Match program creates connections between patients and donors for bone marrow transplants and is the largest and most diverse donor registry in the world, according to WREX.
Garcia received the transplant and is now considered cancer-free as of March 2021, although she will still receive chemotherapy after the transplant.
“My goal is to bring awareness about childhood cancer and the Be the Match program to Rockford,” Garcia told WREX. “I wish there were oncology services for children in the Rockford area so I didn’t have to make long trips to Chicago for care.”
This week she held her lemonade stand at the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford, Illinois.
For more news on cancer updates, research and education, don’t forget to subscribe to the CURE® newsletters here.