News from Illinois CancerCare

Dietitians Provide Nourishing Support

Eddie Kimbrough and his nutrition counselor Jeanna Rich.

Imagine losing half your stomach to cancer and discovering you’ll need to use a feeding tube to supplement your diet. Insurance doesn’t cover nutrition counseling, so you’re either on your own or forced to pay out of pocket to learn what and how to eat again.

That was the reality Eddie Kimbrough faced after treatment for throat and stomach cancer. Fortunately, he found Grace Hensold and Jeanna Rich, dietitians at the Hult Center for Healthy Living. Thanks to an Illinois CancerCare Foundation grant, they’re able to offer free nutrition support at all 13 Illinois CancerCare clinics — addressing everything from side effects like nausea and weight gain all the way to extreme malnutrition.

In Eddie’s case, he lost so much weight, and became so fatigued and weak, that he made numerous trips in and out of the hospital. But the combination of nutrition therapy and a good attitude brought him back from a low of 130 pounds. “Once I started on the program, I quickly started gaining weight and got some of my energy back,” he says. “I’m so grateful to Grace and Jeanna and to Illinois CancerCare.”

Yearly, our dietitians provide approximately 1,696 nutrition consultations to patients at all Illinois CancerCare locations, traveling over 1,700 miles per week.