Have you ever wanted to help a friend living with cancer but weren’t sure how? MealTrain.com SM is a free, easy to use online calendar that allows caregivers and friends to schedule and organize the delivery of home-cooked meals to those affected by cancer, providing needed support without being asked.
The Cancer Support Community, along with program collaborators CancerCare and the Eisai Women’s Oncology Program – Magnolia, are working to raise awareness of this unique tool during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For each new Magnolia sponsored Meal Train started during the month of October, Eisai will make a donation of $25 to the cancer support group of your choosing, up to a total donation of $25,000. You can start a Magnolia sponsored Meal Train by visiting www.mealTrain.com/mmt and entering the following code: MagnoliaC.
Learn how this program is helping Michelle Davis, a ballet company director from Hamilton, Ohio who is living with breast cancer, in our Q&A with her below:
How did you first learn about Meal Train?
I am the director of a community ballet company and one of my dance parents had used Meal Train when a friend’s child was ill. So, I was asked by the parent if I would be interested in setting one up for my family while I was undergoing chemotherapy, and I didn’t hesitate to say yes.
How has mealTrain.com helped you get the support you need while undergoing treatment?
People wanted to help me and I have a large support system, but it’s hard for people to know exactly what to do that would be helpful! Meal Train was a great way to set up food organization and delivery, and I knew that I would need to give up some of my normal “mom” duties to those willing and wanting to support me through this time. I felt relieved with the first meals that I received. Knowing that the meal preparation and delivery was all organized took a burden off of my husband and I during a time already heavily burdened.
In what ways is communicating through this shared online calendar easier than other communications with friends and family?
Meal Train was a way that my friends and family could help without feeling intrusive. It allows me to easily communicate our needs to everyone, as well as our gratitude for their meals! I can communicate directly on the website and can leave notes to keep everyone updated as I see fit.
Has Meal Train relieved any family stress during your breast cancer journey so far?
It gave me a great sense of relief knowing that during 16 weeks of treatments, my family would be eating well without more stress on us. Meal Train has allowed us to eat well TOGETHER, without the stress of figuring out who was going to fix food on the weeks when I’m not feeling my best. It also allowed me to grocery shop less when I’m not feeling well…and all of that means that yes…I have been able to spend more of my time with my kids and husband.
How has your family reacted to the meals you’ve received through your Meal Train?
I am married and I have 3 kids…ages 14, 11 and 5. They have all been very thankful and open to the dinners being delivered! My 14 year old daughter even told me that she’s happy that my treatments are going to end, but that she’s really going to miss the great food that we’ve had delivered! The folks delivering food have been very good about including kid friendly foods…including desserts. We even have had some people deliver little presents for the kids! Quite a treat and surprise for them, since this is just as hard, if not harder for the kids watching me go through this. Having meals delivered when I’m not feeling great also allows my husband to take care of me, the kids and also continue his normal daily job without an additional burden of cooking and shopping for meals
Who do you think would benefit from a Meal Train sponsored by Magnolia?
I think anyone with breast cancer could benefit from Meal Train. Using Meal Train certainly showed that I had and needed a HUGE amount of support while going through treatment. It allowed people to support me and feel like they were helping.
(Please note: mealTrain.com, including Magnolia sponsored meal Trains, is operated independently by Meal Train LLC. Cancer Support Community, CancerCare, and Eisai have no control over its content.)