Yvonne McClaren is founder of the ‘No Feeding Tubes movement’ and ‘The Food Manifesto’, an organisation she set up, after she was diagnosed with a throat cancer in 2018. After the treatment and surgery, where a third of her tongue was removed, she was left with a PEG tube feeder in her abdomen.
As a passionate foodie, with a background in not for profit / membership-based organisations/ event management and cooking, the use of the PEG meant that she had not eaten anything orally for over a year, so felt isolated, alone and depressed. She also felt that it restricted her physically & psychologically, as social eating became a problem and could no longer enjoy that experience.
Yvonne was determined to come off her PEG tube, and so began her journey back to eating normally again, to enjoy flavours, textures and cooking great food. Born out of her journey came the renewed ‘The Food Manifesto’ and Yvonne now helps head and neck cancer treatment patients with Dysphagia to transition off PEG feeding tubes back to oral eating, and finding their passion for using real food, with the Mind Food Body program
Yvonne says, “I struggled with my PEG tube and Dysphagia. I didn’t know how to transition back to oral eating, heal and keep my weight at a healthy level”.
“I worried if I was ever going to get back to ‘normality’. I was not joining in with social gatherings, I lacked confidence to try different food & textures. I lost all connection with food & my social life was non-existent”.
“I studied training, cooked and manipulated food, researched and asked lots of questions. I committed to my mind food and body and now live a social life PEG free and eat more than custard and soup I stopped throwing food away because I couldn’t eat it and stopped throwing money away consequently”.
“Eating and it’s social implications are so important for relationships and quality of life. I just had to give myself my best chance”.
Yvonne has helped herself so she could help others. I’m committed to helping as many people as possible who after a throat cancer and who also have a PEG tube feeder reconnect with food again.
If you would like to hear more about Yvonne, transition journey from PEG to oral eating again, her passion about food, some amazing recipes, and how she can help you, then please visit her website below.