Cookbook helps breast cancer patients



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Posted on February 22, 2013 at 7:51 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 22 at 8:07 PM

AUSTIN -- Somewhere between the pictures and the people, Bill Bastas found his purpose.

"We want to make a bigger impact on the breast cancer community," Bastas said.

For years he’s turned his passion for photography into a money-making mission, raising more than $21,000 for local breast cancer charities with his 'Smile Never Fades' organization.

It's why no one should be surprised Bastas cooked up his latest venture - a cookbook featuring breast cancer survivors and their families.

"I think this is going to be a good seller," said Bastas.

Kristene Edwards counted on her quiche to get her through breast cancer. 

"I was diagnosed in May of 2011. This is my go-to comfort food,” Edwards said.

She was diagnosed ten years after her younger sister battled the same disease.

After a lumpectomy, months of chemotherapy and radiation, Edwards is cancer-free and sees this as her opportunity to give back.

"I'm not a big cook, but I am honored to be part of helping raise money for something that's dear to my heart," she said.

It's a sentiment shared by everyone who has been asked to submit a recipe, Terri Gruca’s mom included.

"It's just a blessing to be alive and to do something like this,” said Hedy Gruca.

Hedy just celebrated four years of being cancer-free.

"I always loved to cook and am always looking for a new cookbook and I can't wait to see all the other recipes," said Hedy.

Bastas hopes to have 200 survivors, recipes and inspiring stories on every page.

"It's our mothers, our sisters, our daughters, our wives, the best of our society. It's not acceptable," said Bastas.

Bastas knows this better than most. He lost his own wife to breast cancer eight years ago.

"It solidifies my mission," he said.

His recipe: to make a difference in the lives of breast cancer patients.

Proceeds from the "Comfort Cooking - Recipes To Make You Smile" cookbook will pay to provide concierge care for patients undergoing breast cancer treatment. It will start next year by providing things like housecleaning services.

Bastas is still looking for survivors to feature in the cookbook which he hopes to have out in time for Christmas.

Click here to contact Bill Bastas.


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