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Elana’s Story: “Your Meals Were My Medicine”
Elana, Project Open Hand client, pictured with her husband

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2011. During my chemotherapy last spring, there were days when I couldn’t even stand up for five minutes, much less shop for food or prepare a meal. But Project Open Hand was there for me, and your meals really helped me make it through.

I had the first of my four surgeries that March. Family and friends from my church provided meals for the first few weeks, but people have busy lives and so it was hard for them to keep it up. I was so relieved when a coordinator at the Kaiser Breast Cancer Clinic told me about Project Open Hand.

Project Open Hand was there for me, and your meals really helped me make it through.

Every Tuesday, cheerful volunteers came to my door with a wonderful care package, containing seven frozen meals. Those meals were my medicine. I could just heat them and eat them. It was great that the meals were often large enough that I had food to keep for lunch for the next day. My favorites were the turkey, the meatloaf and the mac and cheese.

Getting meals from Project Open Hand not only made me physically stronger, but helped me feel stronger emotionally, too. Knowing that I was not alone, that the volunteers and staff at Project Open Hand cared and were there for me – that knowledge gave me strength.

My battle with breast cancer has lasted for more than a year. I’m so grateful that Project Open Hand has been by my side for most of that time.

Every day, Project Open Hand provides healthy, nutritious food and support for 3,000 people who are fighting breast cancer, HIV/AIDS and other serious illnesses, as well as seniors.

Thanks to our partners at the Avon Foundation for Women and the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, who support our efforts to serve the breast cancer community.


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