By Linda Borgstede
By the time Lori Bumbaco received her public health degree from Stockton College in 2000, she knew her passion went much beyond that.
“Nutrition is what I wanted to pursue,” she found, but her adviser discouraged her. “But she didn’t stop me.
“People with chronic diseases deserve a better life and diet plays a part in that.”
Nutrition is still a young field, “more art than science” at this point, Bumbaco said. As a dietician, a lot is judgement.
Facing the requirement of another four-year degree to become a nutritionist, she was determined and finished those requirements in two and a half years at Montclair University, a public research university in New Jersey. Her goal was reenforced, “I loved it.”
From there, it was an internship in a large urban hospital in New Jersey, where she said it was a big learning curve. “Making recommendations of diet for the variety of patients,” she said, led her to her next decision.
“I knew that oncology nutrition was the field for me!” The Specialist in Oncology Nutrition requires 2000 hours of experience and an exam. She passed that mark in 2009.
Today she uses her passion in this field in a number of ways, from counseling private clients and groups to making blogs and videos, such as the ones provided on the Judy Nicholson Kidney Cancer Foundation’s website.(See Note)
“For cancer survivors, life is overwhelming with appointments, bills and treatments. I help them to get time and energy to explore healthy food.”
Encouraging “eating healthy and eating foods that will preserve health” seems to be the philosophy behind every presentation she makes. She compares it to sports medicine, where “it will enhance their ability to perform – using nutrition in that way.
“With kidney cancer patients, it comes back to the art of applying the science. But the recommendations can be good for any individual.
“A lot of cancer patients don’t have access to a dietician,” she said, so her goal is encouraging awareness. “ I don’t tell you what to do, just give you the information. If he or she only gets one thing from my presentation, I want to get them comfortable in the kitchen.”
Recently Bumbaco has embarked on a new venture in this field, Cancer Nutrition Care. It is a tele-nutritian service started in March 2020. She is one of the four registered dietitians on the board.
The website, cancernutritiancare.com says: “High quality diets are one of the four key healthy lifestyle factors proven to significantly extend human lifespans and increase your chances of living a longer, disease-free life.”