Meet Laurie Donohue, One of Our Awesome Fundraisers

Recent California high school grad beats major medical problems, promotes childhood nutrition
Book cover
Laurie Donohue's new book, 'To the Core'

Meet Laurie Donohue, an incoming college freshman from California who, after battling serious health issues, was inspired to write To the Core, a kid-friendly book about healthy eating and lifestyle. She hopes to raise funds and awareness for Action Against Hunger’s lifesaving work worldwide.

First off, would you mind telling us a little bit about your health and how you’re doing now?

I am so much better than I was before.  I am now able to attend school full-time and I graduated high school in June.  Over the summer, I've been focusing more of my energy on selling my granola bars and books, and contributing to Action Against Hunger’s cause.

What about your experience with your doctors and the hospital inspired you to write To the Core?

After going to doctors for four years, I decided that I needed to learn more about nutrition because I hoped it would help the health problems I had been having at the time.  I love baking, so I created a healthy granola bar that I could take to school and share with my friends.  But I realized that I could help other kids learn about nutrition, so that they could come to appreciate their health as much as I do.  So, I wrote the book, describing what I believe to be the main components to balanced eating habits, and included my granola recipe at the back.  While this was going on, I found out I had Cushing’s disease, an extremely rare disease that is caused by a brain tumor.  I had brain surgery on June 5, 2012 and have been recovering since then.  Ever since my surgery I have just become more and more inspired to help other people with their health, so I hope this book and granola bar can accomplish that.

What key takeaways do you hope people will learn from To the Core?

I hope people can open their minds when it comes to trying new, healthy foods.  I didn’t realize how much of a difference healthy eating made in my life until I was completely open to trying different recipes.  If people can learn to appreciate their vegetables as much as I do, then I think I’ve scored a touchdown!

Why did you choose Action Against Hunger as your charitable partner? What part of our work do you find the most interesting/inspiring?

My family had donated money to Action Against Hunger before, so I had already known about you.  I researched some more and was pleasantly surprised at how well this organization fit with my goals.  Action Against Hunger seeks to help families worldwide by providing them with the tools and knowledge to feed themselves.  You give them the ability to eat healthfully for generations, which I think is the most generous gift you can give a person.

What advice can you give to your fellow students, who want to help, but who may not be able to do something on such a grand scale?

I think the best way to help would be by starting out in your community.  I started that way, getting advice from friends and family as to what I should do and how I could develop my business.  You could volunteer at your local charitable organizations or donate your time to homeless shelters.  Getting involved with your community is the best way to learn what your community needs and how you can do that.

I guess all we need to know now is, how can we get the book?!

My book is being sold on as well as, but if you want an electronic version, the Kindle edition of my book will be coming out soon so you can read it on your phone.  I will also be selling my granola bars locally, so if you’re in the Calabasas neighborhood outside Los Angeles, don’t forget to stop by the farmers markets!

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About Radhika Shah

Radhika Shah

Radhika works in our Operations Department, helping manage our humanitarian programming in Cambodia, Pakistan, South Sudan, and Uganda.

Tags: Nutrition