Our featured Supporters in the new issue of Cancer Wellness are two sisters and the founders of Courageous Bakery & Cafe.
As told to Britt Julious
Don’t take things for granted.
KATHRYN: For as long as I could remember, we always baked. We always had baking in our family as an activity. Every once in a while, we would still bake as we got older.
LAURA: Just before Kathy got sick, we actually talked about doing some type of catering or something where we could bake or cook for people. It was super early working and then she fell ill.
KATHRYN: I was by myself at the moment they gave me my results and I was [in] disbelief. Almost like I didn’t hear it. Like, that’s not me. That can’t be.
LAURA: During her illness, we baked a lot. I baked a lot. Brought cupcakes to the hospital or at home. We would dream of flavors and talk about it to keep our mind off of things.
KATHRYN: I never tried to lose myself in the downs of it. The frustration sets in, but you still try to be happy at times and move on. That’s when my sister and I started to bake. I think it was something to do to keep something normal or something different going on than what every treatment was—the waiting, the going in and not going in, the not feeling well.
LAURA: I did a bake sale for a fundraiser that her friend hosted for Kathy for her medical expenses. I packed 250 cupcakes and got quick donations for the cupcakes. And everybody liked them. I was like, ‘Hmm, maybe this could be something.’
KATHRYN: Like maybe this is what we should be doing. This is what we love to do.
LAURA: And then when it was [Kathryn’s] time to go back to work, she was in remission. And I had time to make a decision of if I should go back to work or take this to the next level. I had the big green truck first. I opened up Elmhurst second. I had the little green truck because it just fell into my lap. And then I expanded into Oak Park. There’s a niche for it and a need for the food that we offer.
KATHRYN: Laura handles most of the business. My life now is just as I dreamed of and more. I have a beautiful daughter. I’m a stay-at-home mom. I have a great husband. I can help out with the bakery. I’m so grateful. Being in remission, it’s taught me a lot. It’s made me so much more appreciative for everything.