A Hunger for Feature Food and Wine

Tuesday morning I had the pleasure of speaking with Jennifer Mogensen, an aspiring journalist.  UB has enticed her back a second time to receive her degree after a fight with cancer.

Five years ago, Jennifer was diagnosed with stage four lymphoma and was given six months to live.  For the next several months she spent four days per week in Roswell Park Cancer Institute receiving chemotherapy to combat her disease.  Even with the rigorous treatments that bound her to a wheelchair, the disease eventually spread to the base of her brain.  At her worst, she weighed all of 80 pounds.

Jennifer bounced back to the strong woman we see in class every week.  She hasn’t given up on her dream of becoming a feature food and wine writer as she admires the work in Gourmet Magazine and Wine Spectator; the type of writing she hopes to do in the future.  However, the very real possibility of relapse looms over the Tonowanda native.

In the years after her recovery she has had to revisit her own personal hell, Roswell Park, every six months.  Twice a year Jennifer rolls the dice as PET-scans, CAT-scans and a battery of other tests are done to see if her lymphoma has returned.  “This will be what kills me.  It’s not a question of how anymore,


One response to “A Hunger for Feature Food and Wine

  1. Lead: 4 I’d cut off the first paragraph though and weave a little of the info into the second. The second is much more dramatic. Sucks me right in.
    You led me well through her story — although I still have lots of questions — and found a good way to end it (although you missed the last few words, which I assume are “she said.”
    Interviewing: 2/3 This is a great story and leaves lots of unanswered questions. Start at the beginning: Where was she when she got the diagnosis? What did she do? (What DO we do when we think we only have six months to live?) What got her through? How has the experience changed her? Why does she now want to write about food? I could go on, but you get the idea. Ask many more questions than you need. The answers will feed your prose.
    Grammar: 3

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