London: Jim Fisher has created a special Christmas menu for people undergoing cancer treatment who can’t enjoy a traditional meal during the holiday season.
Fisher, a Master Chef semi-finalist, had nursed his late mother Sylvia as she fought a rare form of cancer.
The chemotherapy used for cancer treatment can trigger debilitating side effects such as nausea and loss of appetite, and a wrecking of taste buds.
Meanwhile, mouth ulcers – which occur due to the strain placed on the immune system during chemotherapy – can make it painful to eat at a time when the body most needs nutrition.
Seeing his mother’s loss of appetite and inability to enjoy most foods due to inflammation of the surface of the inside of the mouth, Fisher began to research food properties and modified his mother’s old recipes.
“Cancer treatment is so distressing but it dawned on me that there was something I could do,” the Daily Mail quoted him as saying.
“And that was to try to make Mum food that would help her maintain her strength and yet still be palatable,” he said.
“It was a matter of trial and error – if she said something was too hot or too sweet, we’d modify various well-liked recipes. With her help, I created a Christmas menu I hope will be enjoyable for everyone,” he added.
Sylvia died in July 1998 but Fisher hopes his menu will be part of her legacy and help people through a difficult time.
“Food is more than about having something to eat. It takes you through the bad times. Going through chemo is rotten enough as it is, but it’s often especially bad at Christmas,” he said.
“I want people to feel part of it all. I hope these recipes make it a merrier and more palatable Christmas for those battling cancer,” he added.