Lewis partners with Cancer Wellness Center in a new demonstration kitchen

Lewis Floor and Home believes in giving back to the community. This is a conviction the Northbrook company has held since it was founded in 1954. Lewis has donated to several charities over the years but has always regarded its relationship with the Northbrook-based Cancer Wellness Center as special.

Each June for the last 14 years the company has donated a portion of its sales to the Center. This June, in lieu of donating a portion of every sale, Lewis will donate a kitchen consisting of cabinets, countertops and flooring to support the Wellness Center’s new on- site demonstration kitchen and nutritionist.

Partnering with the Center to create the new kitchen makes use of Lewis Floor and Home‘s expertise in home furnishing and design. The company has in-house specialists that can advise on cabinetry, flooring, and kitchen layout.

Victoria Marchio, who works at the Cancer Wellness Center as a Participant Navigator, regularly reports a stream of calls coming in that inquire about nutrition programs and request one-on-one appointments with a cancer specific nutritionist. These calls were an added incentive to hire a nutritionist and gain the support of Lewis Floor and Home in setting up the demonstration kitchen.

When a person is diagnosed with cancer there is fear and a search for a way to fight the disease. People often ask, “Why me?” Then, as they take part in what the Center offers they learn there are ways to fight the disease and not give into it. The Cancer Wellness Center began as a grassroots organization that provided peer support groups and was the Midwest’s first cancer support center. Since that modest beginning it has matured into an organization that offers programs and services free of charge at four locations throughout North/Northwest Chicagoland.

With the new kitchen and nutritionist, The Cancer Wellness Center can assist families and the person diagnosed with cancer in fighting the disease. The Center plans to offer classes, demonstrations and lectures on healthy eating. The group classes will provide the opportunity for patients to connect in an informal, low stress way with other patients and they will learn skills that they can take back home and use in their everyday lives.

The Center believes that placing emphasis on proper nutrition is another tool to fight cancer and that it is not only medically recommended, but also provides a way for patients and their families to feel more in control of their situation.

“Nutrition therapy is used to help cancer patients get the nutrients they need to keep up their body weight and strength, keep body tissue healthy, and fight infection,” says a recent report by the National Cancer Institute.

The Institute states, “Cancer and cancer treatments may affect taste, smell, appetite, and the ability to eat enough food or absorb the nutrients from food.”  In addition, having enough protein and calories is important for healing, fighting infection, and having enough energy, adds the Institute

The changes brought about by an inability to follow the normal pattern of eating can cause weight loss and a gradual weakening that eventually affects the ability to fight cancer. For the person diagnosed with cancer the changes that occur in the body are difficult to counter, but also difficult is the realization that the disease affects the patient’s loved ones as well. A family wants to do all that it can to help and the avenues the Center offers, now with the addition of the demonstration kitchen and nutritionist, provide a family with a way to be more than a silent observer of the affects of cancer.

The American Cancer Society estimates the number of new cancer cases in the United States in 2014 was 1,665,540. By 2030 the National Institute of Health projects the number of breast cancer cases alone to rise by 50 percent. This is a stark portrait of the disease, but there is also a feeling of hope as doctors, researchers, and those involved with facilities and organizations like the Cancer Wellness Center continue to assist patients and their families in the fight against cancer.

The emphasis on nutrition by the Center and the donation of a model kitchen by Lewis Home and Floor provides further ammunition in the battle against cancer, a disease that has been in existence for thousands of years. However, the strides that have been made in recent years and that continue to be made will provide a hope for the future.

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