Category: Newsletter

Meet the Milliner: the artist behind a growing Cancer Lifeline Breakfast tradition!

Kelly Christy has created hats for clients across the globe. Since 2015 she has graciously shared her one-of-a-kind works of arts with “Breakfast with Friends” at the Writing for the Moment tables. Facilitator Peggy Sturdivant was already a Christy Kelly admirer and longtime Table Captain when inspiration struck, how better to encourage potential guests than with cocktail hats? She also knew that Kelly had recently lost a sister, Kari Anne, to cancer, and that the event would be healing for her.
In a family of seven siblings, Kari Anne was the baby sister to all. She had lived with metastasized melanoma for nearly 15 years. The family had all gathered in Chicago for her 50th birthday. At the first Cancer Lifeline appearance of her amazing millinery line, the loss was still quite raw. However being among friends, and using her magic to match the ideal hat to the person was uplifting then, and in subsequent years, for Kelly, and for those lucky enough to be coiffed by her.
Kelly Christy brings mainly her cocktail hats (such as Purple Extravaganza, Frenchie in Cognac, Fluff & Dagger) for the event but has been working on a new line of soft pattern hats for winter and bigger straw hats for the summer. At the 2018 Breakfast, one woman bought the hat off her head. She had not seen herself in it but could see the sheer delight in the eyes of those at her table. Peggy Sturdivant, Barbara Chilcote, and fellow writer and Board Member Tracy Peltier never have any trouble filling their tables: their secret sauce is the generosity of Kelly Christy, sharing her creations for the event. For those who want to be so lucky year-round, the handcrafted collection is available at
For more information about Breakfast with Friends, click here.

Love Your Heart: Heart Healthy Foods

Heart disease is the #1 disease in the United States, killing more women than every type of cancer combined! As well, cardiotoxicity is a side effect of many chemotherapies. While genetics play a large role in health, it isn’t the complete picture. Diet and lifestyle help determine whether or not genes will be expressed in the first place. The American Heart Association states that as many as 80% of heart attacks could have been prevented through healthier lifestyle alone.

Foods that are important to include for cardiovascular health include:

  • Beans/Legumes (in place of animal proteins or alongside)
  • Cocoa (dark chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa)
  • Grape Juice/Red Wine (4-6 ounces per day only, more than this increases disease)
  • Nuts/Seeds (look for raw nuts and stores in the refrigerator or freezer ideally)
  • Oats/Oatmeal (but not the sugary instant kind)
  • Berries (look for organic and mostly only in season – spring/summer ideally)
  • Dark leafy greens (includes broccoli for essential minerals)

Our bodies need cholesterol, which is I a type of lipid, to make cell membranes, hormones, Vitamin D, and bile acids needed to digest and absorb fats. What is “bad” about cholesterol isn’t the substance itself but whether or not it will harden into plaques.

Our bodies need some fat, but you need the right kind. You should eliminate or reduce saturated fat found in animal products like beef, pork, and dairy foods while increasing monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats found in avocados, chia seeds, hempseed oils, natural peanut butter, nuts and seeds, and other unrefined plant oils.

To keep your heart healthy you should also try to do these daily:

1 – Move your body. Research shows that daily activity, such as brisk walking, swimming, and cycling, can reduce blood pressure. Start slowly and aim for 15 minutes increasing to 30 minutes of aerobic activity most days of the week.

2 – Stay calm. Stress can raise blood pressure, while relaxation techniques appear to lower it. Learn and practice a mind-body approach such as breath work, yoga or medication and take advantages of its benefits regularly. So BREATHE!

3 – Eat a healthy diet. Adequate intake of nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium, and vitamins, is essential to maintain blood vessels and healthy circulation.

Avoid Trans-fats. Found in most margarine, candies, snack foods, processed foods, and some cooking oils, (often listed on food labels as “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oil), reduce HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels and raise :D: (“bad”) cholesterol levels. Also,  avoid overheated fats, such as oil used for deep-frying. These fats are oxidized or damaged, therefore regular consumption is likely to have a variety of negative health effects.

Reduce Animal protein. Excessive animal foods have been shown to raise levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that may contribute to heart disease. Substitute some animal protein with any legume – aim for 1-2 servings such as lentils,  split peas, pinto beans, tofu, edamame, or black beans per day.

Reduce refined carbohydrates. Sugar (cookie, cakes, crackers, soft breads, chips, and sodas) can increase triglyceride levels, harden plaques, and lower HDL.

Reduce Sodium. Excessive sodium has been linked to high blood pressure and heart disease. The main sources are store-bought bread, boxed and canned foods, and restaurant food. Adding a dash of sea salt to homemade meals is not seen to be a problem, it is negligible in comparison to the amounts in pre-made foods.


Presented by Ami Karnosh, MS, Nutritionist. Ami regularly presents classes for Cancer Lifeline as part of PCC Cooks at the Green Lake PCC.  To learn more about upcoming classes, check out our class listings.

Newsletter Winter 2018

Dear Friends of Cancer Lifeline,
Three years ago, Cancer Lifeline’s Board of Directors appointed a group of key stakeholders to create a strategic plan for our 45 year old non-profit. That plan had the primary objective of creating a clear path toward firm financial footing for the organization. First and foremost was the development of a plan to expand revenue by creating opportunities for us to reach more people in new locations. To do this we had to look at our business model and acknowledge that as the need for our services has grown, our programs have expanded through our hospital partnerships and the use of the Dorothy O’Brien
Center, our home since 2000, had changed – we were no longer location specific…
Read more