Many years ago when my grandmother was in a nursing home recovering from a broken hip, she had a special request one night after dinner. Could she have some ice cream? Her caregiver graciously got her some chocolate ice cream.

That was grandma’s last night on earth. She left us after enjoying a simple gift of chocolate ice cream. If we could all be so lucky.

That memory came back to me after speaking to Susan of St. Clair, Missouri, who recently shared the story of her own father’s passing with me. It also included ice cream. Thrive Ice Cream.

Susan’s father had been a hardworking man all of his life. One thing he enjoyed was sweets. Being diabetic, he wasn’t supposed to have them.

Two years ago, he was diagnosed with liver cancer. This, combined with his diabetes, high blood pressure and other health issues, caused his health to decline. As his condition worsened, his doctors prescribed a diet high in protein. That was an immediate problem for the family, said Susan.

“He didn’t want to eat the high protein diet. My mother tried all kinds of ways to get him to eat protein, including protein shakes, He liked some of them, but after a while he refused those, too. He began losing weight and strength,” she said.

In March 2017, Susan’s father’s took a turn for the worse. About that time, Susan heard about Thrive Ice Cream from a friend whose aunt was being treated for cancer at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. The aunt was given high protein Thrive Ice Cream and loved it. She was maintaining her weight and responding well to her cancer treatment.

Susan went to the Thrive website and studied the nutritional facts, learning our ice cream is high in protein, contains 24 vitamins and minerals, natural fiber, and four active probiotics that support digestive and immune health. Thrive Ice Cream is used by a growing number of hospitals and senior living facilities as a meal supplement or replacement. Professional sports teams and college athletics programs use Thrive to boost the performance of athletes.

Encouraged, Susan emailed us. She was somewhat surprised when our CEO responded. He then sent her a case of Thrive’s six-ounce, single-serve cups to try with her father.

“I was surprised by the gift, but also skeptical,” she admitted. “I knew Dad wouldn’t eat it if it were junk. So I called in my taste testers before taking it to the hospital.”

Susan’s taste testers were her son and daughter, ages 11 and 10. To say they approved Thrive is an understatement.

“We all loved it! It tasted so good it was hard to believe it’s healthy!” Susan said. “My son liked the vanilla, my daughter liked the chocolate, and strawberry was my favorite.”

Susan took the Thrive Ice Cream to her dad not knowing if he’d want to eat. Fortunately, his legendary sweet tooth kicked in and he tried it.

Susan’s voice softened at the memory. “He really liked it. There was no funky taste. At that point, Thrive became part of his daily diet because it was an easy way to get him protein and nutrition and he enjoyed it. Give him a choice and he’d always choose the ice cream. He’d eat until he was full.”

There was another advantage to feeding her father Thrive Ice Cream. Near his final days, he developed aspirational pneumonia, which made it difficult to swallow. Susan or her mother would stir the ice cream until it melted a little and then feed him. The consistency – known clinically as nectar or honey – enabled him to swallow easily without choking, another blessing.

Susan’s father passed away in late June. His cancer was inoperable and had stolen his health. Despite her sadness, Susan takes comfort in the fact that everything that could be done for her father was done. No stone was left unturned to make his final days comfortable. Thrive Ice Cream was one of his small pleasures, Susan said.

“Thank you again for sending the ice cream for my dad. You provided me with a healthy option for him and took the stress of acquiring it out of the picture. I appreciated your generosity very much!” 

To learn more about Thrive and to order online, visit our website.

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