Cancer launched my business

Seven cancer survivors confronted life-threatening diseases and turned their experiences into successful small business ideas.

Loren Brill, Sweet Loren's

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Loren Brill, 28: Cancer pushed her to take risks and indulge in her passion

Loren Brill had just graduated from the University of Southern California and was spending summer at home in New York. At 22, she didn't know what her next step was going to be.

"I was always interested in food and health. I was also teaching yoga at the time," she said. But a week before getting on the plane to go back to California, Brill discovered her lymph nodes were swollen.

"Cancer was the last thing on my mind. I was always so healthy," said Brill. Her doctor made her cancel her flight. Brill was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin's Lymphoma. "My world was turned upside down."

After the shock faded, she grew determined to do "things I never would have time to do before." Cooking topped the list. Brill took classes and educated herself about natural gourmet cooking. She found her niche in baking all-natural desserts.

With $15,000 of her own money, Brill perfected her brand of all-natural frozen cookie dough -- using sea salt, whole grain flour, coconut oil and natural sweeteners -- and presented it to Whole Foods.

Brill's "Sweet Loren's ready to bake" desserts, a line of frozen cookie dough and frozen brownie batter, are now stocked in Whole Food stores in the northeast.

"Our mission is to make people embrace healthy eating in a fun way," she said.

  @CNNMoney - Last updated October 02 2012 10:40 AM ET

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