A fundraising book launched during a nationwide mouth cancer campaign last year has won a top prize as the ‘best charitable initiative’.
Brenda’s Easy to Swallow Cookbook, published by the Mouth Cancer Foundation, has scooped the highly commended prize, in the best charitable initiative category, at the Pfizer Excellence in Oncology Awards 2010.
The book, which launched during Mouth Cancer Awareness Week 2009 and includes fabulous recipes donated by celebrity chefs including Nigella Lawson, Rick Stein, Anthony Worrall Thompson and Phil Vickery, has revolutionised the eating habits of hundreds of mouth cancer survivors.
Many patients who are diagnosed with head and neck cancers undergo extreme, invasive surgery, often resulting in the loss of ability to chew and swallow food.
Alongside the surgery, there are intense radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments which can affect the taste buds, even destroying them in some cases.
Many patients struggle to eat and taste food after treatment.
The book’s author, Brenda Brady, was one of those people.
Brenda, from Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear, lost her battle with mouth cancer in 2008. After her death, Brenda’s husband, John Brady and children, Rebecca and Dan Brady carried out her last wish, which was to publish the cookbook she had started while fighting the disease.
They joined forces with the UK’s leading mouth cancer charity, the Mouth Cancer Foundation, who published the book for sale on their website to carers, mouth cancer patients, survivors and anyone who has difficulty swallowing food.
Brenda’s Easy to Swallow Cookbook features recipes that are not only easy to swallow, but tasty and nutritious.
The cookbook includes chapters on soups, starters, mains and fast foods.
It astounded judges at the Pfizer Excellence in Oncology Awards 2010, which were created five years ago to recognize and reward best practice in oncology management, education and patient care across the UK.
The judges said: ‘This was a really innovative and personal idea that addressed an immediate and increasing problem. The fact that the Mouth Cancer Foundation has run with an idea that a patient has developed is also highly commendable.’
Dr Vinod Joshi, founder of the Mouth Cancer Foundation, says: ‘Brenda’s Easy to Swallow Cookbook has already enhanced the lives of hundreds of head and neck cancer patients and survivors.
‘The recipes offer a varied, appetising and nutritional diet. Working with the Brady family to carry on Brenda’s legacy has been a real privilege; we are thrilled and honoured to receive such a widely recognised award.’
Brenda’s husband John says: ‘We carried on Brenda’s work to get the book published partly to give us a goal to achieve but also to mark the wonderful contribution Brenda made to the lives of people who knew her. To win an award for Brenda’s book is fantastic. We only wish she was here to receive the award for all her efforts. We hope the sales of the book will continue to add to the £15,000 Brenda raised for the Mouth Cancer Foundation.’
Brenda’s Easy to Swallow Cookbook is available nationwide. For more information visit www.easytoswallowcookbook.wordpress.com.