Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Colorado Gives Day 2015!

The Season of Giving is not complete without Colorado Gives Day!

This year December 8th is set aside to help raise awareness of Colorado nonprofits as well as raising funds. A reminder for those who are old enough to pay taxes to get their donations before the end of Dec and 2015 disappears.

This also is a day Coloraidans can show how proud we are of helping those in need. I grew up in Colorado and in this great state I was taught that kindness is our gift to the world, we help those who need help.

So share this link on Facebook, and encourge your friends and family to donate if they can, Teen with a Dream has a 12 year history of helping children with cancer and we hope to do so for many more in the future with your help!


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Today's Inspirational Story: Teen Sworn into Aurora Police Department for the Day!

Here in Teen with a Dream's headquarter state, a local teen fighting cancer was named an honorary Aurora Police officer. Ben Brewer may be fighting Stage IV Neuroblastoma, but he does not let that get in the way of his ultimate dream: being a police officer! 

Watch Brewer being sworn in as an honorary police officer below!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

5 Ways to Combat Loneliness

Pediatric cancer treatments tend to leave the patient alone numerous of hours, this can be difficult for any person and difficult to explain to those especially little ones. This loneliness can feel even more overwhelming during this particular time of year. Today, we would like to share five ways to ease this sense of loneliness.

Understand that loneliness is a feeling, not a definite reality.
Although the feeling of loneliness is a powerful one, it is important to recognize that this feeling does not translate to fact. Typically, when we are feeling lonely it is due to a triggered memory or feeling and the perception that those memories are absent. In these moments ask yourself "what triggered this feeling?" Additionally, recognize that you are able to overcome this feeling and deserve to do so.

Become Aware of Negative Thoughts You Have About Yourself.
This is a two step process because you first must recognize when you are having these thoughts and follow it up by stopping and replacing these thoughts with more positivity. You must be able to advocate for yourself to begin to rid yourself of that "outsider" feeling.

Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone. 
This is a "physical" step that you can take in order to combat the feeling of loneliness, interact with new people you may not with normally. By learning new things about new people, stimulates social interaction and will help you feel more connected. Also, meet with other people who may be struggling with the same feeling. This provides you with an opportunity to discuss and cope with someone you can relate with and hopefully give you a healthy and effective platform to rid loneliness out of your life.

Nurture Yourself and Others.
Kindness is an extremely powerful feeling and brings a universal feeling of "goodness". By nurturing other and engaging in acts of kindness will do good for others just as much as it does good for you and your emotional health.

Commit to Eliminating Loneliness from Your Emotional Health
By committing to improving your emotional health and recognizing that you deserve to have a happy and positive state of mind [even in times of chaos] is the most important aspect. You are in control!

Monday, November 30, 2015

4 Winter Spices to Keep You Healthy

Happy Monday! We hope that you enjoyed your long Thanksgiving weekend! Now that we are back to our routines [for a couple weeks at least!] lets jump into today's post, 4 spices to keep you healthy this winter. Stay tuned because for the next four Nutrition and Recipe Sundays, we will be sharing a recipe using one of these spices!

4 Winter Spices to Keep you Healthy Through the Cold

This winter spice is perfect for those days that you are feeling yucky, stressed or a little under the weather because it assists your body in getting a better night's sleep. This floral spice has muscle relaxing properties and can help soothe an upset stomach. 

Cinnamon is a classic winter spice- but did you know that it also how health benefits as well! This delicious spice can provide joint relief for arthritis, lower cholesterol and fight off bacteria.

Garlic not only can help keep your heart healthy but also can help fight off the common cold-which loves to show up around winter time. Garlic has been used through out time for medicinal use!

This spice can remedy respiratory tract problems and provides you with a healthy boost of energy. Additionally it provides protection for your stomach and can even help with dental problems!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Effective Communication Techniques to Reconnect with Family

We are living in a fast paced world which makes it difficult at times to really take the time to connect with your loved ones. That is why today, we want to focus on a few different techniques that will assist you in reconnecting with both your immediate and extended family during Thanksgiving!

To begin, lets begin with the "why" behind the importance of connecting with our family:

  • Overall, by effectively communicating with our family ultimately connects us better. Overall this provides us with establish emotional support resources which is key for any individual but especially for those going through a difficult time.
  • By integrating ourselves within each others emotional lives provides us with a sense of control over our emotional health.
  • Connecting with family enhances our social and emotional skills.
  • Provides the opportunity to clear out our emotional stress that we may have been harboring.

Techniques to ensure highly effective communication within your family this Thanksgiving:
  1. Put away your electronics! Nothing takes away from a conversation like the constant interruption of a phone or tablet.
  2. Maintain engaging eye contact and body language. Make sure you are facing towards the family member as you have a conversation with them so it can show to them that you are interactively paying attention to what they are saying.
  3. Listen, listen, listen! By showing the other person you are listening bridges a connection between the both of you because they are aware that you are engaged and care about what they have to say.
  4. Finally, establish your communication boundaries or willingness to discuss your treatment as it will be likely that someone will ask. This is okay! It is also okay if you are not up for talking about it as well--just make sure you know what your plan is ahead of time so you do not have to deal with any unnecessary stress!

Monday, November 23, 2015

5 Tips to Make this Thanksgiving Stress-Free

As we are approaching Thanksgiving this week, it can begin to feel overwhelming. From accomplishing "to-do's" on your holiday list to ensuring our normal daily routines are in order, the wonderful [but sometimes stressful] chaos has begun! Add on the stress of being a pediatric cancer patient, and stress levels can really begin to sky rocket.

That is why today we would like to share 5 simple tips to get through this holiday week without letting cancer get in your way!

  1. If you know the typical Thanksgiving menu will not do, prepare a meal that will be perfect for you. It is no secret that chemotherapy or other treatment regimens can take a toll not only on your ability to comfortably eat but also can effect your tastebuds. If you know that the foods that your family typically prepares is not for you this year, make sure to pack your very own meal that will provide you with nothing but comfort!
  2. Make sure to have some anti-nausea techniques ready to go! Whether you have been prescribed anti-nausea medications or prefer natural remedies make sure you have these available! Nothing will ruin a good time like overwhelming nausea--so be prepared! Check out our various anti-nausea remedies.
  3. Dress comfy, comfy, comfy! Typically family functions on this holiday last for more than a few hours, therefore it is important to make sure to dress in whatever is comfiest to you.
  4. Get a good night's rest before AND after the big day. Rest is an extremely important part of going through treatment. It is important to rest up before the big day so you are able to get the most out of this wonderful holiday. Additionally, long hours out can be hard on your body if you are a pediatric cancer patient so make sure you also rest well the night after.
  5. Finally, and most importantly, just relax and enjoy your day! This by far is one of the most important tips that we would like to share. Being a pediatric cancer patient does not define who you are and it is important to shut that part of your life out, even for a couple hours and simply enjoy your time with your loved ones!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Watch "Truly Brave": An Inspiring Video

Last September Hoda Kotb from the Today show chose to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer as apart of their "Shine a Light Series". We recently came across this wonderful musical compilation between Cyndi Lauper and Sara Bareilles to highlight the thousands of pediatric cancer patient's bravery.

Watch the awesome video "Truly Brave" and check out the full story on the Today show's website here!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Staying Warm tips!

Tis the season for cold weather now! Hard to believe winter is here already. It is important when you are on treatment to make sure to stay warm.

Here are 12 tips that will help. These tips are provided to you by Mental Floss check it out at http://mentalfloss.com/article/60076/12-toasty-tips-staying-warm-cold-weather


It's easier to change your body temperature than room temperature, not to mention more eco-friendly. Instead of turning up the heat, put on another layer of clothing.


Your mom may have said that you lose 80 percent of your body heat through your head, but that's not actually true. If you're otherwise clothed, you'll lose heat from any surface that's exposed. So put on your hat, even if you're inside.


Warm air rises to the ceiling. Run your fan on its lowest setting in a clockwise direction to push the warm air back down to where you can feel it.


Hot showers immediately warm you up, but cold showers improve blood circulation between your skin and organs. Cold showers are also correlated with a stronger immune system.


Keep heat in and cold out by cutting a pool noodle in half lengthwise, wrapping it in fabric, and sliding it under your door. It'll stay put all winter, and you can re-use it at the pool come summer. (But we recommend you spring for a new one.)


Another two words: Obvious, right? Stay toasty on schedule, so you never go home to a living room that's colder than outside. You can even do it with your smartphone.


Not everyone has access to adjust the thermostat in their apartment or office building. If that's the case, you may need to outsmart the device by making it "think" the room is colder than it actually is. Putting ice near it often does the trick.


If you're not wearing a tank top or going sleeveless, your windows shouldn't, either. Replace thin curtains with heavier wool or fleece drapes in the winter. But be sure to open them on sunny days for free heat.


Using your oven heats up the whole house. You'll feel even cozier if you invite friends—and all their body heat—over to eat four dozen cookies.


If you're already interested in composting, here's another reason to do it: The microbial breakdown of organic material produces heat. Some people use it to warm up showers and greenhouses, but even small-timers in studio apartments can feel a difference.


It's intuitive, but fluffy blankets should be closer to your skin. Thin, dense blankets should be on top to prevent convective heat loss. Bonus tip: Don't put your bed directly against an exterior wall. You'll be warmer if you leave a little space. 


Monday, November 16, 2015

3 D.I.Y. Wonderful Alternative Uses for Pumpkin!

Pumpkins are a classic symbol of fall, but did you know that there are many more uses for this vitamin rich fruit [yes it is technically a fruit!]? Well let us share with you our top three favorite alternative uses for pumpkin for this Tips and Tricks Monday!

Number One- D.I.Y. Pumpkin Face Mask

How does this mask benefit my skin?
Pumpkins are packed with antioxidants, zinc and many other enriching vitamins helping provide anti-aging effects and wrinkles all while gently exfoliating to give your skin a glowing radiance. Additionally the recipe below also includes honey, which is the perfect natural remedy for dry skin-which we all know can a very real side effect of chemotherapy.

  • 1/4 Cup of Pumpkin
  • One whole egg
  • A few teaspoons of honey
  1. Whisk together ingredients
  2. Lather on face
  3. Relax with Pumpkin mask on skin for 15-20 min
           Number Two- Combat Tummy Issues

How can pumpkin help with tummy issues?
Pumpkins are extremely high in fiber and can help remedy more urgent issues all while getting your system back on track. There are a multitude of ways to whip up this natural remedy, so find one that is right for you!

              Number Three- Pumpkin Butter

Butter is a household staple for almost every home--use this to your advantage to make your own butter by using the vitamin rich fruit! Check out this recipe we found from All Recipes website.


  • 1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup apple juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg


  1. Combine pumpkin, apple juice, spices, and sugar in a large saucepan; stir well.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil. 
  3. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes or until thickened. Stir frequently.
  4. Transfer to sterile containers and chill in the refrigerator until serving.