With the month of October upon us, the annual fundraising efforts and renewed conversation about breast cancer commence. However, one particular story hit close to home for me. Claire Stokes was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011, just three weeks after their son Ethan was born. I met Claire shortly after this and her warm spirit, gregariousness and light has stayed with me. After Claire’s initial chemotherapy treatment in June 2012, the family were devastated to be told that the cancer had returned and 39 year old Claire began her ongoing battle to survive.
Claire’s husband, Chef Robbie Stokes, previously Burj Al Arab’s Chef de Cuisine and Executive Chef at Al Badia Golf Club in Dubai, was already well-known throughout the region for successfully raising breast cancer awareness through his initiative ‘The Pink Brigade’ with bespoke pink ribbon chefs jackets. Sadly, Claire passed away in January 2015, just before her 40th birthday.
I sat down with Chef Robbie, daughter Yasmine and son Ethan to hear more about Claire’s efforts that she started, how important healthy eating is to them as a family and advice Robbie has for other men that may be in a similar situation to what he has faced.
Nourish, who have now joined forces with the Pink Brigade, was founded in 2014 to support Claire Stokes as she lived and fought with breast cancer. Believing that nutrition had a positive part to play in not only the quality of her life but in the lives of everyone else around her, Claire held absolute faith in ‘Optimum Nutrition for Optimum Health’. This is the bedrock of what Nourish and the Pink Brigade is built on and we thank her every day for her inspiration.