• Tel: (212) 799-3894
  • Email: info@cfyl.org

Our Story

Our mission: to teach healthy cooking to people touched by cancer.

Cook For Your Life started in 2007 after founder Ann Ogden Gaffney, who had already survived kidney cancer, took a break from a successful career in fashion to focus on the treatment for her second cancer diagnosis, triple negative breast cancer. Thrown deep into the world of hospitals and cancer, she became aware of the disconnect between getting information on healthy eating strategies and special clinical diets during cancer treatment, and the practical skills needed to get them on the table. Growing up with an Italian mother from a family of chefs and a father who was a Master Baker, Ann was easily able to adapt recipes to help her cope with treatment side effects and ate well even on her worst days. But for many of friends in the chemo suite it was a different story. They found it overwhelming trying to cope with these difficulties in the kitchen. To help them, Ann started sharing her cooking tips and advice with them, which eventually led to her first free hands-on cooking class for people touched by cancer and this website which offers practical nutrition advice and features a dynamic search engine that allows people to search recipes based on their treatment needs. Click here for more information on our unique search engine

Read the Story

About Ann

I'm a two time cancer survivor. I also love to cook and eat. After my second diagnosis of triple negative breast cancer, I became immersed in the world of hospitals and cancer treatment. As it went on, I began to understand how much my cooking skills were helping me to cope with treatment side effects. I was able to adjust to taste changes, adapt my food to how I was feeling at any given moment, when many of my fellow travelers in cancer were not. Listening one day to a friend at my Gilda’s Club support group describe her problems with how her food tasted, I realized that although the hospital staff were telling her what to do to alleviate her symptoms, they couldn’t tell her how. That’s when I knew I could offer practical help.

More About Ann

Our Programs


Putting Good Nutrition on Your Plate

These classes are offered by way of nutrition slideshow presentations or as cooking demonstrations and tastings. This format is perfect for larger conference audiences. We have been invited to present at various conferences and events around the country including the National Conferences of the YSC, LBBC Stupid Cancer and BMT, and on a more local level for the LLS, Living With Cancer, Gilda's Club, The LGBT Center, The Sid Jacobson JCC and Mt. Sinai's Breast Health Day among others.

Cook for your Life / Cocinar Para Su Salud/ Mi Vida Saludable

A cooking and nutrition education program taught in English and in Spanish to help underserved cancer survivors increase their fruit and vegetable intake and become more knowledgeable about sustainable healthy food options. Mi Vida Saludable is in partnership with Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and is funded by the NIH.

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Our Wonderful Staff

Ann Ogden Gaffney

Founder & President

Ann Ogden Gaffney

Founder & President

To read more about Ann's story and why she started Cook For Your LIFE see the "About Ann" section at the top of this page.

Letwine Mavima

Office Administrator

Letwine Mavima

Office Administrator

Letwine was born in Zimbabwe, but grew up in west Michigan. She fell in love with the idea of Brooklyn at age 11 and found her way to New York after graduating from Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor of Science in Communications. She has a passion for helping underserved communities, chocolate, African food and traveling any and everywhere. Letwine plans to attend law school in the future to pursue her passion for immigrant and civill rights.

Contact:letwine@cfyl.org

Elaine Guinan

Online Assistant Editor

Elaine Guinan

Online Assistant Editor

Elaine graduated with a Bachelors degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. After working as a clinical dietitian in the United Kingdom, an interest in nutrition communications and public health led to Elaine to New York, where she joined Cook For Your Life as Online Assistant Editor. Since joining Cook For Your Life in 2016, Elaine has coordinated all social media communications, and reviewed new content for scientific accuracy. She believes in evidence-based nutrition, and has an interest in working with underserved communities in the future to help increase access to healthy foods and nutrition education.

contact: elaine@cfyl.org

Carolina Leon

Website and Nutrition Intern

Carolina Leon

Website and Nutrition Intern

Carolina is a native of the Hudson Valley and college student with an associate degree in Math and Science, working towards a bachelors in Nutrition and Food Science at Hunter College. She also works for St.Luke’s Cornwall Hospital as a Food and Nutrition associate, which has allowed her to gain insight on specific diets for individual patients and what that entails. She enjoys hiking, exotic cooking, and volunteering for charitable organizations. In the future, she hopes to work for a non-profit organization combating hunger in developing nations.

Victoria Silverio

Videographer

Victoria Silverio

Videographer

Victoria Silverio was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to the United States when she was 11 years old.She graduated in 2016 from Rutgers University in Newark with a B.A. in Journalism and Spanish. In college, she discovered her passion for visual storytelling and that’s when she starts creating her own videos.
She has worked in projects such as Newest Americans, where she produced visual content for the dance group Brick City Bangra from Newark, New Jersey. She has been a producer for the companies such as Cook For Your Life since 2016 and Emporia Entertainment, Kesta Happening DC.

Linda Orlick

Event Director

Linda Orlick

Event Director

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