“The Bread Lady” Is on a Mission to Change Cancer Patients’ Lives in Nashville
Forget chicken soup for the soul—try banana bread!
As any bread baker knows, all bread has soul. And you’d be hard-pressed to find loaves with more soul than those baked up by Barbara Baker.
Yep, that’s her real last name. Admittedly, though, few people know her name at all. At Nashville’s Tennessee Oncology clinic, she’s known as the “Bread Lady,” thanks to a moving act of community service Baker has kept up for more than a decade. As profiled by The Tennessean, Baker comes to the clinic every Wednesday with six loaves of banana bread and two large pans of other sweets for patients and staff to enjoy.
WATCH: How to Make Nana's Banana Bread
Inspired by her brother-in-law who was battling bladder, prostate, and liver cancer, Baker turned to baking. “Nothing tasted good to him,” Baker said in The Tennessean. “So one week I brought him a loaf of banana bread, and he loved it. He just inhaled it practically.” Though he later passed away, Baker channels his spirit to this day.
Over the past 12 years, what started as a small act of kindness for her sick family member, quickly rippled into a clinic-wide obsession. Now, Baker’s visits are a weekly highlight at the clinic. As her visits caught on, patients even began volunteering bounty from their own gardens like fresh eggs and zucchinis.
“I always pray on my way down that I can have words of hope and encouragement for them,” Baker said in the piece. “I just really enjoy being able to minister to them through the bread, and it has turned into a ministry for me.”