Fighting cancer with great food, one snack at a time
In May 2013 my father was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and is now undergoing a rigorous course of chemotherapy. It was, as cancer always is, unexpected and terrifying.
Many people have had their lives touched by cancer, felt the weight of the diagnosis, and simultaneously been at a loss for how to show their support. When my father was diagnosed I chose to fight the sense of helplessness by turning to healthy food. Hours in the kitchen gave birth to a recipe blog at ChemoBites.com. My dad’s request for snacks, sometimes all he could eat due to the side effects of chemotherapy, lead to elaborate boxes of tasty treats. These boxes evolved to become my featured product: Chemo Bites Snack Boxes.
My hope is to empower others to support their loved ones journey from cancer to wellness. Gifts of healthy snacks and whole foods recipes are helping my father; I know they will support others as well. Read more about the story on Komo News.
What are Chemo Bites Snack Boxes?
Chemo Bites Snack Boxes are artfully presented gift boxes filled with hand-selected, nutritious and palatable snacks for people fighting cancer and those in remission hoping to maintain a healthy lifestyle and stay cancer-free.
Chemo Bite Snack Boxes give caregivers, family and friends an easy way to help their loved ones, simultaneously fulfilling their own emotional need to provide practical, effective support in the fight against cancer. Our smart snack options are delivered to patients’ homes, or to the hospital so that they can focus on healing. It’s a welcome and practical gift for patients staying in the hospital since flowers are not allowed in oncology wings.
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What's in a snack box?
Snack Boxes are filled with nutritional, fun snacking options for people fighting cancer and survivors in remission wanting to maintain healthy habits.
Our "bite size" snack box contains five full sized snack items. We carefully select snacks from brands that share our values and love of good food. Chemo Bites offer boxes on a 3- and 6-month subscription basis where each month the box delivered to the patient’s home will include new items.
Snack Boxes can be purchased online by patients or as gifts by caregivers, friends and family and are available on a one-time basis or a subscription basis. When purchased as a gift, the buyer can request us to include a hand-written note to the recipient. They can also be purchased in bulk for resale and a co-branding program is being developed.
Achieve stretch goal of $13,500, and we can:
- Bring new products, like the kid’s snack box, from development to production, including testing with Children’s Hospital and working with an illustrator to create fun and whimsical kid-friendly packaging
- Stock-up on snack inventory from our snack partners
- Be an exhibitor at Stupid Cancer’s OMG2014 conference for young adults with cancer
Reach stretch goal of $17,500 and together we will:
- Develop a co-branding program in partnership with hospitals, care centers and national cancer organizations to create a product exclusively for their patient and caregiver community
- Host educational events, like healthy cooking demonstrations, at hospitals and cancer centers for families and caregivers to learn to support their loved ones
- Accept an invitation to showcase Chemo Bites at a celebrity event at the 2014 Grammy Awards Show
Rewards for YOU!
Other ways to support Chemo Bites
- Share on Social Media (Look for the social icons at the top of the page to share.)
- Email to friends, family and colleagues
- Buy a snack box or subscription for yourself or a friend
- Subscribe to our bi-weekly email newsletter that includes new recipes, health resources and special sales
- Alert the media or share with your favorite blogger
- Pass along the link to your local chapter of the American Cancer Society, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Susan G. Koman, etc.
- Do you work in the field of cancer care, nutrition or cancer research? Let's collaborate! Send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org
Vision for the Future
A new approach to care: Chemo Bites wants to see food and nutrition promoted and prescribed as a complimentary treatment to today’s standard practice of focusing predominately on chemotherapy and radiation. While chemo and radiation can destroy cancer cells, they do not make a patient healthy. Whole foods and a healthy lifestyle are the cornerstone to recovery. Chemo Bites wants to see nutritionists working alongside oncologists to develop comprehensive treatment plans for cancer patients.
Product Expansion: We are currently product testing and conducting market research on snack boxes tailored to different dietary and life-style needs, including kid-friendly, gluten-free, and vegan.
Product expansion will also include offering larger boxes of snacks for those with insatiable appetites and an option for more frequent delivery if buying on a subscription basis. Chemo Bites is preparing to roll out customized boxes that are created on a one-by-one basis for customers with discerning taste and specialized dietary needs, available at a higher price-point as a customized service.
Co-branding: Chemo Bites is developing a co-branding initiative with hospitals and treatment centers to ramp up distribution opportunities. In partnership, snack boxes will be co-branded as a product of Chemo Bites and the healthcare partner. The partner will then be able to purchase in bulk and then either give to patients in their programs or resell through their gift shops.
Buy in bulk: Should a recipient of a snack box fall in love with a particular snack, Chemo Bites will soon give them the option of purchasing the item in bulk from our online store.
Retail locations: Chemo Bites will be available for off-line purchase at a limited number of locations by January 2014. Brick and mortar retail locations will include hospital and treatment center gift shops.
Cookbook: Since Chemo Bites started as a recipe blog, I want to compile our carefully crafted recipes into a digital cookbook to reach more people with the important message of incorporating a healthy diet into one’s cancer treatment regime.
Giving Back: We’ll soon be adding a feature to the site that allows people to purchase a snack box at a deep discount to be gifted to newly diagnosed patients at hospitals throughout Southern California, where we are headquartered. Additionally, Chemo Bites is now forging partnerships with national organizations to position our self as a sponsor of nutritional awareness through nationwide fundraising events.
Nationwide, there were 1.6 million new cases of cancer diagnosed in 2013 and 13.7 million cancer survivors in remission, all whom can benefit from good nutrition.
Chemo Bites launched in Southern California and serves three communities through out the region: (1) patients with cancer undergoing chemotherapy and other courses of treatment (2) people in remission from cancer and (3) caregivers (friends and family) of the previous two. In the Los Angeles area alone they are 13 hospitals that are nationally ranked for their oncology programs. Patients receiving treatment for cancer come from around the world to be treated at Southern California medical centers and the doctors and researchers rank among the top in the oncology field. In California there were 171,000 new cases of cancer reported in 2013 and 1.6 million survivors currently in remission
My hometown of Seattle, Washington, is on the forefront of cancer research and care. While headquartered in Southern California, Chemo Bites is building strategic relationships with organizations, research centers and hospitals in the Seattle area to poise ourselves for a successful launch into the Seattle market.
Chemo Bites, as an online retailer, intends to expand to other major urban areas, those with renowned cancer research and treatment facilities, with public launch events over the course of our first year.
Founder and Principal Kirsten Leah Rogers brings ten years of management and a Master’s in Public Administration to the leadership of Chemo Bites. More than half of her time in the field has been spent fundraising, developing successful marketing strategies, managing organizational operations and community building. As a seasoned manager and consultant for nonprofits, startups and small businesses, Kirsten is a strong, capable leader for scaling Chemo Bites to support more communities and enter new markets.
Members of the Chemo Bites Advisory Board include experts in oncology, cancer research, nutrition, financial planning, strategic planning, marketing and public relationship, and business management. Mostly importantly, the board includes patients who currently have cancer or who are now in remission. The expertise of the Advisory Board is contributing to a solid foundation and strategic business growth.
Risks and challenges
As a sole proprietor, the primary concern on my mind is scaling efficiently and effectively keeping up with the escalating pace of demand. Growth is a great problem to have! As Chemo Bites gains ground in the market of gifts for cancer patients, builds partnerships with distributors, and has been popping up in the news, our sales are increasing. As a one-woman venture, I’m working tirelessly to keep supply in step with demand. Thanks to family, the support of friends, and a wonderful Advisory team, this challenge is not insurmountable. My hope, with a successful Kickstarter campaign, and additional infrastructure in place, is that I can further increase sales and begin building my staff to allow me to focus on the more creative pursuits of product development and community relations.
I’ve overcome many challenges, and learned much throughout the process of launching Chemo Bites, to get to this point where I can confidently offer it to you on Kickstarter. I’ve found great people and companies to partner with and we are genuinely excited to invite the wider community - YOU - into supporting the future of Chemo Bites. Thank you!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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