Imagine falling in love with food without even being able to taste it. While battling cancer, baker and co-owner of the Nickel Diner Kristen Trattner did just that.
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As a visual effects artist for George Lucas' Industrial Light and Magic, Kristen was accustomed to tight deadlines and pressure. Working 12 hour days, she didn't think twice about a swollen lymph gland until she went to the doctor and a week later, at the age of 36, was diagnosed with stage 3 tongue cancer.
Due to the radiation treatments, Kristen developed third degree burns on her face and in her mouth. "Everything happens in your mouth. It's where you speak; it's where you taste; it's where you kiss," Kristen explains. "So when this area closes down, you sort of forget what it's like to be human."
Even though she lost her sense of taste, she discovered a love of cooking. "I would cook, and I would cook all day,