The Times West Virginian

Features

May 1, 2006

‘A Taste of Heaven’

FAIRMONT — While undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, 8-year-old Christopher Riley hardly wanted to eat anything. So when he would ask his aunt Rhonda Riley, Fairmont General 3B ward secretary, for a special dessert, she made it gladly.

She remembers baking things like a pistachio dessert or fudge.

“What he really liked was my peanut butter fudge,” Riley said. “And when you have a child taking chemotherapy and radiation, you’ll give them anything. And just a little piece of candy just meant the world to him.

“You do anything, you give them anything they want ... because to tolerate food is unbearable.”

Christopher died of brain cancer at age 8, which was years ago, but the memory of the nephew she was so close to remains fresh in her heart.

Riley got to include some of those dessert recipes her nephew loved in the new Fairmont General Hospital Relay for Life cookbook called “A Taste of Heaven.” The FGH inpatient medical surgical unit, 3B, is selling the book to raise money for the American Cancer Society’s Relay, which goes back into the patients’ lives that they see everyday.

Donna Offutt, an LPN in 3B, put the idea in motion by calling a cookbook company and started e-mailing people for recipes. She wanted to gather 200 recipes, but had to stop them at 350. Most of them are dedicated in the memory of someone who died of cancer, in honor of a cancer survivor or from someone who had a personal connection to the disease. The unit hopes to raise $4,000 with the books they just got two weeks ago.

“We always do a Relay,” Offutt said. “We always try to find a way to get some money. We usually do bake sales, but that’s a lot of work. We make about $600-700 each time. So we wanted a way to make some money real fast. ...

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  • Donna Offutt and cookbook ‘A Taste of Heaven’ While undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, 8-year-old Christopher Riley hardly wanted to eat anything. So when he would ask his aunt Rhonda Riley, Fairmont General 3B ward secretary, for a special dessert, she made it gladly.

    May 1, 2006 2 Photos

  • Taste of Heaven ‘A Taste of Heaven’ While undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, 8-year-old Christopher Riley hardly wanted to eat anything. So when he would ask his aunt Rhonda Riley, Fairmont General 3B ward secretary, for a special dessert. She made it gladly.

    She remembers baking things like a pistachio dessert or fudge.

    “What he really liked was my peanut butter fudge,” Riley said. “And when you have a child taking chemotherapy and radiation, you’ll give them anything. And just a little piece of candy just meant the world to him.

    “You do anything, you give them anything they want ... because to tolerate food is unbearable.”

    April 27, 2006 1 Photo

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