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Kayla's Cooking Lessons

Kayla is a vibrant fiteen-year-old with many goals and passions similar to her peers.

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Kayla's Cooking Lessons

Kayla is a vibrant fiteen-year-old with many goals and passions similar to her peers. There is one thing that is putting a damper on her teenage years, a brain tumor she developed when she was ten years old.
When Kayla's Social Worker at Hospice of the Western Reserve, Michelle Miller, asked her what it was that she really wanted to do or learn, Kayla told her that she always wanted to cook.

Michelle gave her an opportunity to cook at Giovanni’s Ristorante, the exclusive 5-star Italian restaurant in Beachwood with Master Chef Zach Ladner and his wife, Alyssa, the pastry chef. Kayla was absolutely thrilled. It really gave her something to look forward to outside of her treatments, doctor’s appointments and medical tests.

Chef Zach and Chef Alyssa were fantastic with Kayla. You could see how much she enjoyed the three cooking lessons that they offered her. They even offered to open the restaurant so that Kayla could host a meal of the dishes she learned to cook for her friends and family at the restaurant!

The day of the meal couldn’t have gone better, Kayla was given her very own chef’s jacket, a bound copy of a cookbook with all her own recipes that the Hospice of the Western Reserve’s Volunteer Program put together, and her little sister, Gianna, even received an arts and crafts care package to not be left out. The surprise didn’t end there, everyone that was at the restaurant received a copy of Kayla’s cookbook, and were even asking her for autographs!

Without the help and support of Hospice of the Western Reserve’s Pediatric Palliative Care program and the Moments to Remember program also run through Hospice of the Western Reserve, none of this would have been possible. The Moments to Remember program is set up to make lasting memories for patients and their families. We are so grateful that Kayla was able to enjoy her favorite thing and share it with her family.

Submitted by: Sabrina Bowens, Hospice of the Western Reserve - Kayla's Story

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