Cook for Your Life was founded in 2007 by three-time cancer survivor Ann Ogden Gaffney, who left her career in the fashion industry to start a non-profit in New York City providing free in-person classes to cancer patients and survivors. Five years later, in October of 2012, Ann launched the Cook for Your Life website and her classes became the extensive online resource you see today, offering healthy recipes and nutrition tips to people touched by cancer all around the world.
This month we celebrate our 10-year anniversary and are incredibly pleased to share that what started as a lovely, cancer-focused recipe and nutrition resource has now graduated to a robust, multi-media website serving 2+ million people per year. Backed by research, clinical trials, and our parent organization Fred Hutch, scientists are also using our global platform as a powerful tool to advance research on diet, cancer prevention, and survivorship.
As we march into the next 10 years of Cook for Your Life, we remain committed to reaching people wherever they are and strive to be an inclusive, multicultural resource that everyone can use, with the ultimate goal of helping millions of people worldwide live their best lives.
This article was first published in mid-October 2020:
By Ann Ogden Gaffney
I am very proud to announce that in July 2019 the Cook for Your Life website became part of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
This is an exciting yet bittersweet moment for me. The Cook for Your Life website is my baby, but it is time to let go. I am no spring chicken and am eager to step back from the day-to-day running of the non-profit and website. An alliance with Fred Hutch — one of the world’s leading cancer research centers — allows me to do this in the best, most constructive way possible.
Fred Hutch is a great fit for Cook for Your Life and our missions are aligned. Established more than 40 years ago, Fred Hutch is home to world-renowned scientists, including three Nobel Laureates, who have revolutionized the prevention, detection, and treatment of many cancers and other diseases. The Hutch has also given strong emphasis to oncology nutrition. It’s been a pioneer in promoting healthy lifestyles to improve outcomes for cancer patients, including those treated at its clinical care partner, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, or SCCA. These elements of the Hutch’s work will allow Cook for Your Life to stay true to our mission to teach healthy cooking to people touched by cancer, something that is very important to me. Better yet, Cook for Your Life will come under the wing of my longtime friend and colleague, Dr. Heather Greenlee.
Dr. Greenlee directs SCCA’s Integrative Medicine Program and is an associate member of Fred Hutch’s Public Health Sciences Division (working within its longtime Cancer Prevention Program) and its Clinical Research Division. She is also a faculty member of the Division of Medical Oncology at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on how to best help cancer survivors make healthy lifestyle choices. Dr. Greenlee and I have been working together for more than 10 years, since Cook for Your Life’s early days, testing and evaluating Cook for Your Life’s Spanish language programming through two National Institutes of Health-funded studies. She understands the nuts and bolts of what makes Cook for Your Life work. She also loves good food and is a great cook!
Having spent the past 12 years growing Cook for Your Life from its humble beginnings as a free, hands-on cooking course for a smattering of breast cancer patients in New York City to a free bilingual website helping millions of people all over the world, I am fully aware of Cook for Your Life’s potential. But I’m also aware of the limitations that come with being a small nonprofit. By partnering with Fred Hutch we will be able to make important contributions to research in cancer prevention and survivorship and become a leading resource for evidence-based culinary and nutrition information.
I want Cook for Your Life to grow, to continue to serve. And as hard as it’s going to be for me personally, this move will accomplish that goal. It will give us the resources to look to the future and grow our online presence in exciting new ways that will positively impact the health and well-being of those affected by cancer. And although I’ll no longer be running the non-profit, I will still be a part of this community as a Founder and Health Cooking Advocate, making contributions in the form of recipes, blog posts, videos, and other exciting new content. I hope you too will continue to be a part of our community by subscribing to our new Cook for Your Life at Fred Hutch newsletters and following us on social media.
Together with Fred Hutch, I know we will be able to serve you, our community, better than ever with the high-quality recipes and nutrition information you’ve come to expect from us.
Cook for Your Life is in great hands and it is going to be a beautiful thing.
Look and learn!