A platform aimed to fight pancreas disease with support and knowledge

December 2020 issue 2
Dearest warrior friends,
As we step into the final stretch of 2020 and begin the preparations of heralding in a new year, I believe I'm not the only one experiencing mixed emotions. For many of us 2020 has been a year fraught with anxiety, uncertainty and a hefty dose of fear. Being in the category of people carrying the extra weight of co-morbidities is stressful. Many of us have lost loved ones and had to take extra measures of precautions. And as the weeks turned into months, we have had to tap into those coping mechanisms, adapt and adjust. So if there is one huge thing I learned this year, that we have this powerful ability to tap into that reservoir of strength that we all have inside of us. We can view a global pandemic as a challenge, rather then a disaster. And when we do that, our entire mind set shifts, and the going gets a bit easier. Because if we view it as a challenge, the executive function part in our brain wakes up and we become compelled to make decisions, problem solve and continue to plow through.
Some of you may know, that I became symptomatic with pancreatitis at the age of 6. and over the next 10 years two of my siblings got sick too. Pediatric pancreatitis has a very special place in my heart. I am so thankful that Dr Haija, from Cincinnati Children's has agreed to join The Pillar in our new Pediatric column. Thank You DR Haija! Please don't hesitate to contribute questions and topics you would like to be addressed.
Also joining us is Angele Heller. Angela is a social worker at the @Pancreas center of Columbia and serves as our wonderful support group facilitator. Angele inspired me to start The Pillar initiative. This issue, Angele shares some wonderful tips on how to navigate social situations during the holiday's. Don't miss this!
I wish you all a beautiful meaningful holiday. Have a merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, and a happy New Year!!
Stay safe and be well, Aidel
Pain stemming from pancreas disease can be debilitating. In an effort to lower some of the pain, we need a trusty sidekick. Heating pads are lightweight, compact, portable and reliable. As long as you have an electrical plug, you are good to go! But the market is flooded with option, which one to get? Here is a small breakdown of some of the top heating pads, and their pros and cons. Note: you can now select Amazon smile to donate a portion of proceeds to the National Pancreas Foundation

  • Pure enrichment purerelief XL: This heating pad has consistently ranked as one of the best. Pros This pad feels amazingly soft on the skin, has 6 heat settings and heats up quickly. A bonus 5 year warranty is included. Cons- the remote and cord are a bit too bulky Click here

  • Sunbeam Xpressheat heating pad: This pad is exceptionally well made. It is conveniently sized, perfect to take along with you on the go. Pros- it has a one hour shut off which is a great safety feature. The pad is also machine washable. Cons- the cord is bulky and difficult to get out of the way Click here

  • GenianiXL heating pad is affordable, effective and built to last. Pros- this pad is flexible to use in any body location, is machine washable and includes a 5 year warranty Cons- it is not as large as described, it does not include an auto shutoff safety feature Click here

  • Sable xxxl heating pad- This pad comes with 6 different temperature setting. Pros- known for its comfort. This pad includes a built in auto shut off Cons- this pad does not do so well in the washing machine and the controller is too close to the pad. Click here

Mark your calendars:
National Pancreas Foundation inaugural
"Rocking Party" virtual gala and fundraiser!

The NPF is proud to host a spectacular gala which will feature entertainment by rock legend Peter Frampton!! Awards will be distributed and some exciting new initiatives will be revealed. You don't want to miss this dazzling gala scheduled on Saturday January 30 2021 7:00- 8:30 Get your tickets here

Medtronic insulin pump upgrade will finally have the ability to pair with your phones!

If you have Diabetes3c and are using the Medtronic system, you know the frustration of not being able to see your trends on your phone. This is now about to change with the 770g upgrade. No longer will users have to take out their pump to check blood sugar levels. click to view eligibility criteria

Is stem cell therapy a potential treatment for pancreas disease?

As medical advances continue to rise, patients with pancreas disease are left wondering "are they working on a cure for our disease"? As stem cell therapy gains momentum, scientist are exploring the potential role stem cell therapy play in rejuvenating pancreas tissue and preventing complications. Read the latest updates here

*The Pillar would like to spotlight two incredible teen heroes who have taken the monumental step of a TPAIT. @jaylenNoud-BUILTforBattle and @Gracie-CincinnattiStrong You are both an inspiration of grit and endurance! May the rest of your recoveries go smoothly, a beautiful pain free life awaits you on the other side!!*

*I implore all of you to please continue to keep @Rebecca-Rebeccah'sWish in your prayers. the example of true tenacity and perseverance, Rebecca needs the love and mercy from GD. The past few month have been extremely challenging for Rebecca and the Taylor family, yet continue to inspire with there faith and trust. Rebecca, you have an army behind you. Keep fighting.*

*My dear TPAIT sister is undergoing another surgery. Please send positive vibes her way @JennyLorealHudgins-Jones. Thank you.
  • Hi There, I am Hunter from California. I have Pancreatitis and It means a lot to me to be able to help people and make there lives a little better. I hope you like the gingerbread cookie and stuffing recipe I've made and have a great holidays!

  • Happy holidays Y'all, I'm Kathleen from North Carolina. Part of what I love about cooking is how versatile recipes can be! Adding different herbs can completely change the flavor profile of what may otherwise be a boring side dish. With Mom having T3c diabetes and Dakotah having EPI plus gastroparesis it's good to have a variety of things they can eat available. Enjoy!
Herb Flavored Chicken

Lean animal protein is encouraged for patients on a pancreas friendly diet. This recipe utilizes herbs to add flavor without any addition of fat. lean chicken breast, lean turkey or chicken on bone without the skin are great protein options. Lining the pan with parchment, ensures your protein will not stick to the bottom.

  • Heat oven to 425f.
  • Line a Pyrex pan with parchment paper.
  • Rinse and pat dry Chicken breast or protein of choice
  • In a separate flat plate, place a mix of herbs, like rosemary, thyme, parsley or a ready herb mix, such as Herb De Provence
  • Press both sides of chicken into herbs, ensuring herbs stick wo use of oil.
  • Place chicken in Pyrex and bake 20-25 min
  • Garnish with squeezed lemon or lime.
Lemony White Bean Salad

Legumes are packed with protein and fiber. Legumes also contain properties that promote a friendly microbiome. This White bean salad is light and a nourishing plant based side dish. For easiest digestion, soak beans overnight prior to cooking.

  • Rinse, drain and pat dry your favorite canned beans or soak overnight a package of beans and boil in water until soft.
  • using small amounts of water in place of oil, brown garlic, lemon and Dill in a small saute pan until fragrant
  • Place beans in a salad serving bowl
  • Stir in browned aromatics, mix and serve.

To make this more of a complete meal:
  • Boil cubed potatoes, in season Squash (tri color squash for a beautiful presentation), layer on top of beans.
Roasted Carrots

This dish can be adapted using any of your favorite vegetables such as, cauliflower or mushrooms. Oven roasting is another smart method to prepare food without using any fats in the dish.
See the brilliant hack for tossing veggies, adding flavor, without the use of oils!

  • Using a juicer or a food processor, add plump ripe tomatoes. When the consistency is juice, you can add any spice or herb.
  • In a bowl or a bag, toss veggies of choice with the juice and allow to "marinate"
  • Roast veggies on parchment lined pan at 425, until desired doneness.
  • Reserve any extra juice. store in fridge for future use or pour into ice cube molds, freeze, and you now have a great non fat flavor booster when you need it!
Nonfat Christmas Stuffing

Holiday Is not the same without the traditional stuffing! Hunter absolutely nailed it with this pancreas friendly version of a classic traditional stuffing. No need for the butter or eggs, I have a feeling your guests will love this one!!

*Toast 4 slices of bread in oven for 8 minutes. remove, cut into cubes and toast again or additional 5 minutes until crispy.

*Chop 1 onion and 1-2 carrots and celery stalks and place in a parchment lined Pyrex.

*Combine 1 TSP of garlic powder, onion powder, poultry seasoning and Parsley powder. 1/2 TSP Rosemary, Sage and Thyme 1/4 TSP Salt and crushed black pepper. add to Pyrex.

*Add 1/2 cup of homemade or prepared low fat vegetable broth

*Add toasted, cubed bread and chopped veggies

*Add 1/4 cup Cranberries (optional)

*Bake covered at 350F for 20-30 minutes
Gingerbread cookies

I think we can all agree that the holiday season is not same without the beloved gingerbread cookies. This recipe is pure genius! The Icing is high sugar, so feel free to omit. Its an excellent recipe even without the icing.

*2/3 cups apple sauce
*3/4 cups Brown sugar
*1 tablespoon molasses
*2 Ener-G egg replacer eggs or flax egg
*1 teaspoons vanilla
*3 cups all purpose flour
*1 TSP baking soda
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 TBSP ground ginger and Cinnamon
*1/2 TSP Ground Allspice and Clove

Cookie Icing:
*1 and 1/2 cups confectioner sugar

*1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

*1 teaspoon agave syrup

*1 to 2 tablespoons warm water
*Pinch of salt

Prep the egg replacer. Whip the eggs with a beater until foamy. *Mix all cookie ingredients in bowl and stir in the beaten replacer eggs (or eggs). Scoop and flatten dough into balls on parchment lined sheet pan. Bake 350F for 10-15 min. Let cool.
*Icing: Combine all ingredients to warm water, until desired consistency. Set in fridge and drizzle gingerbread cookies.

Fat free Baked Donuts

The holiday of Hanukkah is based on the miracle of oil. Hanukkah is an eight day oil feast. Swapping out the traditional deep fried Doughnuts seems like a challenge. Lo and behold, this Hanukkah (or the rest of the year) you can have your doughnut and eat it too!

*Flax egg mixed and left to thicken (3 TBSP water, 1 TBSP flax meal)
*2 TBSP maple syrup
*2 TBSP apple sauce
*1 cup reduced or fat free milk of choice
*1 cup flour
*2 TSP baking powder
*1/4 TSP salt
*1/4 coconut sugar
*1/2 TSP cinnamon
*1 TSP vanilla
*nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, apple pie spice to taste

Heat oven to 350F
Prep the flax egg, mix flax meal with water and allow a few minutes to thicken

Combine the rest of the wet ingredients with the flax egg and mix to combine

separately combine the dry ingredients and fold into wet
spoon into silicon donut molds

Bake for 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

Allow to rest and pop out the doughnuts
Flavor Variations: add fat free add ins to create various flavors. grated carrots, grated apples, dried fruit etc...
Topping variations: reduced whip, coconut cinnamon sugar, grated fruit zest etc..

The sobering reality of the altered digestive tract following a TPAIT. The pancreas is removed, together with gallbladder, duodenum, spleen and small portion of the stomach. A roux En Y is the anastomosis usually performed to reconstruct the tract. Patients face an irreversible altered digestive tract. Indigestion and other GI upsets remain symptoms that effect Post TPAIT day to day life.
  • Having your care followed by a pancreas specialist is highly encouraged. To find a center by state please visit the NPF website for a list categorized by location. Please visit Please note: this list is currently in the process of being revised.

  • Telehealth medicine means you can consult with The Pancreas center of Columbia, cross country. If you would like an appointment with GI Pancreas specialist Dr John Poneros Please Email or Call (1212)305-4795

  • If you would like to have a surgical consult with Dr Beth Schrope Please Email or call

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