Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Supporting a family who’s child has cancer….

It can be a difficult when you know someone who has a child that is diagnosed with cancer. You are made aware of a whole new world yet there is not always guidance  So here are some simple Do and Dont’s that can help you with how to help. 

  • Help with siblings, offer to pick them up, take them places, and help entertain them. 
  • It is ok to ask questions, but don’t push for to many answers.
  • Visit, but be sure not to stay overly long.
  • Offer so distracting conversation when needed
  • Offer help when you can. 
Friendship is a powerful thing and it is one of the few tools that families have to combat a life of dealing with cancer. So we here at Teen with a Dream hope we gave you some guidance on how to help a friend who’s child has cancer.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Combatting Nausea with Sea-Bands!

Nausea is something that your child may battle throughout their treatment duration. With all of the medication that they are already on, it seems difficult wrapping your head around giving them another pill to ease it. Teen with a Dream found a wonderful alternative, Sea-Bands. Sea-bands have been given within our Chemo-Day-Care Bags to provide the opportunity to relieve any ounce of nausea. These clinically proven + drug free acupuncture bands are designed to naturally ease nausea. 
Find out more information to see if these low-cost bands are for you on their website ! 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Blueberry Power Muffins

Happy Sunday Dreamers! We have found a wonderful recipe for Blueberry Power Muffins! These muffins have 6.1g of protein to start your day! As we had mentioned in a previous blog post, protein is extremely important to a child’s diet! As an added bonus- this recipe includes a sweet yet healthy streusel to top it off!

Here is what you will need to make these delicious muffins:
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour 
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups vanilla low-fat yogurt 
  • ½ cup 2% reduced-fat milk 
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • large egg 
  • 1 ½ cups fresh blueberries
  • Cooking spray
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
For the full instructions click here!
Image Provided By: Cooking Light

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Meet our Executive Assistant + Compassion Project Specialist, Kati!

Good Morning Dream Team! Wishing you a Saturday as wonderful as you all are. My name is Kati, I am the Executive Assistant here at Teen with a Dream. Spencer, Jan and the entire Harrison family have been a part of my life since I was four years old. I began volunteering with Teen with a Dream when I was ten years old. I began simply helping at the annual Evening of Dreams, and today I am involved daily in assisting in our mission to enrich the lives of pediatric cancer patients everywhere. It is difficult for me to adequately put into words the profound impact that Teen with a Dream, the hundreds-of-thousands of patients and the Harrisons’ have had on my life. 
Everyday I am inspired by the genuine strength and optimism within each patient I have met over the past eleven years. Over these eleven years I vividly remember an encounter I had with a patient during our LA event in 2012. 
I will never forget Gina, who had experienced multiple types of cancers through her life and recently became amputee due to her disease. I will never forget her enthusiasm that was contagious to everyone around her. One of our activities during our event was playing mini golf. The moment we set up the mini golf, Gina bounced from her wheel chair, chemotherapy pole in hand, and was ready to show her skills despite having one leg. The best part of this story? She won almost every game with a smile, and gave us a hard time for not playing. 

The story of Gina continually fuels my passion for Teen with a Dream, and our cause. When I discuss my job with others I am truly overwhelmed with a sense of enlightenment and inspiration into a world of bravery as shown by these patients. Gina like numerous of other patients serve as one of the most pure forms of courage within humanity. I would encourage anyone to learn more about the cause and get involved, we are always here to help!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Because every cancer survivor is a superhero!

It is Friday, and you know what that means…SPLURGE! Friday! Today we want to share with you a resource for all of your arts, crafts + decor that is out of this world! Melanie Ralbusky, is a Dream Team member and brings the life of the party to our Germ-Lite Events! 
Today, take a minute with your superhero and check out these amazing cut outs available at School Girl Style Blog with Melanie! She has a fresh take on classic superhero decor. Decorate your hospital room or at home, because every cancer patient and survivor is a super hero!
Check it out here!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Finances + Cancer

2010 scholarship recipient, giving his acceptance speech at the annual Evening of Dreams.
With any medical situation, finances can become overwhelming. Not only are pediatric cancer patients prone to missing school, but may not be able to showcase their abilities in academics or sports that would ultimately lead to receiving a college scholarship. 
This is why Teen with a Dream developed and awards college scholarships for patients + survivors.  Learn more about our scholarship program and how to apply on our website [twad.org]. The photo above is our 2010 scholarship recipient.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

"Because Someone I love has Cancer"

Are you a parent that has a child with cancer? A sibling? Family friend? No matter the relation to your patient, it is extremely difficult to cope with. As a non-profit that is founded by a pediatric cancer survivor, we recognize the profound significance emotional support has. 
Cancer can become an extremely lonely process, especially for a child, it is important to show them that they are loved, cared for, and thought about. We have found a simple little gift to give any patient or family, developed by the American Cancer Society. It is a simple and easy way to introduce yourself to the process. 
Find it here!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Managing Depression

Aside from the physical side effects, depression can be a difficult thing to grapple with as well following a child’s diagnosis. 
As reported by the National Cancer Institute: “A person diagnosed with cancer faces many stressful issues. These may include”:
  • Fear of death.
  • Changes in life plans.
  • Changes in body image and self-esteem.
  • Changes in day to day living.
  • Money and legal concerns.
  • Feelings of disbelief, denial, or despair.
  • Trouble sleeping.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Anxiety or worry about the future.
To read the full article click here!
Have you or anyone in your family been affected by depression? Contact us directly to be connected to our psychologist! Email: kati@teenwithadream.org

Image Provided By: Clearview Treatment

Monday, September 22, 2014

Dental Care

Teen with a Dream would suggest getting your child a teeth cleaning before beginning their treatment. The various treatment methods for cancer are hard on a child’s teeth, and have the potential to follow into survivorship. 
According the Children’s Oncology Group the following are risks of Chemotherapy:
  • Increased risk for cavities 
  • Shortening or thinning of the roots of the teeth 
  • Absence of teeth or roots 
  • Problems with development of tooth enamel resulting in white or discolored patches on the teeth, grooves and pits in the teeth, and/or easy staining of the teeth 
Make sure that your child’s cancer doctor and dentist communicate to ensure the highest quality of care!
Read more about children and dental health here!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Importance of Eating Well with Cancer

Getting your child to eat the right foods for a well balanced nutrition is extremely difficult. When you have a child on chemo who doesn’t have a big appetite, makes it even more difficult. 
As a non-profit run by a cancer survivor we know how this can be a looming task, but whole heartedly believe that making “eating well” will greatly benefit your child through their treatment.
According to the American Cancer Society, “Eating well during cancer treatment might help your child”:
  • Better tolerate treatment and treatment side effects
  • Stay closer to the treatment plan schedule
  • Heal and recover faster
  • Have less risk of infection during treatment
  • Have better strength and energy 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

A simple yet profound statement for you this Saturday, Dreamers!
Image Provided by: foreverbride.com
A simple yet profound statement for you this Saturday, Dreamers!

Friday, September 19, 2014

SPLURGE! Friday- Cosmic Sun Catcher Craft

On this SPLURGE! Friday, we want to share this simple and fun craft that will  vamp up that hospital room! These Cosmic Suncatchers will be the perfect addition to your child’s room and are made with everyday items! 
Lets add some color back into our lives and create these vibrant sun catchers! Send us a picture of your sun catcher for a chance to be featured on our blog!
Check out the full instructions here!
Image Provided By: Babble Dabble Do

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Coping through Art Therapy Programs + Activities

Today, we would like to introduce to a “Self Soothe Book”, a therapeutic art activity. Teen with a Dream wholeheartedly believes in the impact that art therapy has on pediatric cancer patients and implements the concept into our programs. 
This therapeutic art activity will provide your child a resource to turn to when they are feeling overwhelmed. It is designed to capture all of their favorite things into a simple book! 
Materials Needed:
  • Colored Paper
  • Magazines
  • Glue Stick
  • Scissors
  • Misc. Images of your child’s favorite things
  • Personal Photos [Optional]
  • Other Crafting Accessories [ex: glitter, feathers, etc]
To see the full story behind this therapeutic art activity read more here!
What are your thoughts on the benefits of art therapy? Comment below to share your input!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Inspirational Story

Zach, 17, records a beautiful song for his family after being diagnosed with cancer
When Zach Sobiech was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at the age of 17, he was told that he had only months left to live. Sobeich decided to cope with his diagnosis by writing a song entitled “Clouds” to pay tribute to his family and friends.
The video of his song, accumulated over 2 million hits on YouTube and gave a gift to his loved ones they will never forget.
Read more here!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Cancer + PTSD

PTSD is something that you and your family could be confronted with. Post Tramatic Stress Disorder can come easily with such an earth shattering diagnosis to your child. What are the sympotoms of PTSD?
Well, according to the Department of Veteran Affairs there are four types of symptoms of PTSD:
  1. Reliving the event (also called re-experiencing symptoms) You may have bad memories or nightmares. You even may feel like you’re going through the event again. This is called a flashback.
  2. Avoiding situations that remind you of the event you may try to avoid situations or people that trigger memories of the traumatic event. You may even avoid talking or thinking about the event.
  3. Negative changes in beliefs and feelings. The way you think about yourself and others may change because of the trauma. You may feel fear, guilt, or shame. Or, you may not be interested in activities you used to enjoy. This is another way to avoid memories. Feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal)
  4. You may be jittery, or always alert and on the lookout for danger. Or, you may have trouble concentrating or sleeping. This is known as hyperarousal.
Learn more here! 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Using Ginger to Fight Nausea

Is your child’s stomach bothering them as a side effect of chemotherapy? Well we have a simple solution that may help you! Do you ever wonder why your mom was constantly giving you Gingerale as a child when you became sick? Well, Ginger is the best natural anti-nausea food. Ginger can be used in so many ways to ease their upset stomach. Although you can eat it raw or incorporate it into many different meals, here is a quick and easy recipe for ginger tea. 
Here is what you will need:
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ½ teaspoon of crushed ginger
  • tea bag
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • milk (optional)
Find the full instructions here!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Frozen Fruit Cup Recipe for your Sunday!

Finding yummy food that the whole family will eat and finding the time to prepare is already hard enough, but when you add a child on chemotherapy to the mix, it may feel impossible! 
This week try the Food Networks “Frozen Fruit Cups” Recipe. This simple + easy to make fruit cups will provide your child a yummy snack during treatment!
What you will need:
  1. 4 cups frozen peaches, thawed and chopped into large chunks
  2. 2 cans mandarin oranges, drained
  3. 2 cans crushed pineapple, drained
  4. 1 can fruit cocktail, drained
  5. 6 medium firm bananas, chopped into chunks
  6. 1 small can frozen pineapple-orange juice concentrate, thawed
  7. 1/3 cup lemon juice

Read more here and find the full recipe here!

Local Student Advocating for pediatric cancer patients

Happy Saturday Dreamers! Today we would like to introduce you to Morgan Folk, a local elementary student. 

Teen with a Dream implemented The Compassion Project in late 2013. This project is designed to connect community members directly with pediatric cancer patients. It provides patients with a profound sense of care that their community has for them. 
This weeks feature post is from a student who has advocated for this project throughout her school since her experience with the project in her own classroom. Enjoy!

A Message from Morgan…
In Ms. Free’s class we did a project focusing on compassion.  We all were assigned to a child that was undergoing chemo-therapy for cancer.  All of us had different aged children.  When I did this project I had a little girl that was 6-8 years old. In my class I noticed that everyone’s heart had changed, even if it was just a little bit.  My heart certainly changed!  I noticed that some kids were compassionate even outside of the project.  It has changed many kids and the way they think about others.  This nonprofit that we helped was called Teen with a Dream.  This association helps kids have fun and be joyful even through the tough times that they are going through.  I believe this nonprofit was a huge success.  Maybe our whole school could participate in this nonprofit by bringing things that the kids could work on and play with during those long hours they spend in the hospital.  The things that people bring in must be appropriate and encouraging.  If we help this nonprofit I guarantee that it will change your heart too!
Ms. Free’s Classroom proudly holding their bags they created.
Morgan’s Compassion Bag [Not only did she gather items from the store but she created fun activities and games for the kids as well!]

Friday, September 12, 2014

SPLURGE! Friday on building a “home movie theatre”!

On this Friday’s Splurge! Set up a “home movie theatre”. Going to the movies is one of the first things on a pediatric cancer patients “don’t” list. Since they are unable to do this, set up forts and make it feel like the real thing. Go “shopping” through your movie collection and find you and your family’s all-time favorite films to binge watch or find a newly released movie in your local RedBox!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Make a Wish

Hello all you Dreamers and hope your having a good Thursday! Today we want to highlight another outstanding organization Make a Wish. Founded in the 1980’s it has since gone on to fill thousands of wishes to children who have a life threatening illness. 

We at Teen with a Dream encourage any kid who is going through cancer to go to their website and apply for a wish. We all have heard about Make a Wish, however you may be surprised to learn that you do not have to be a terminally ill patient to qualify for their wishes. 
Teen with a Dream Founder found this out when he was going through treatment and went on a Make a Wish at age 14. It is a amazing experience that any child with cancer deserves. So if you’re a parent look into Make a Wish. If you’re a family friend that knows a child with cancer, let their family know; and if you are a patient have your parents help you with the application. You will need your doctor’s office help and can learn all the other things you need at http://wish.org/
Does anyone have a great make a wish story? Let us know by contacting Teen with a Dream.
Images Provided By: Kent Miles

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Inspirational Story Wednesday!

Talia Castellano became an internet sensation for her unique make-up tutorials on YouTube. Castellano touched the lives of millions following her interview with Ellen Degeneres about her life with cancer. Castellano explained she had two aggressive forms of cancer, although the only thing her adoring fans saw was her contagious positive attitude.
One of her most famous quotes came from her Ellen interview after she was asked how she copes, Castellano simply told Ellen that a “little fishy told her to just keep swimming”. Ultimately Castellano was the face of CoverGirl’s “honorary face” cover. Check out the full story here!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Managing Confusion + Memory Loss

A person’s adolescent years are some of the most critical years for brain development. Chemotherapy can have a profound impact on your child’s memory and state of alertness.
Whether it is one of the many online resources to engage your child’s brain or it is directly working with them, it is important to set aside a few minutes each day to give a little TLC to their minds. 
So don’t wait until tomorrow start right now and find some fun brain exercises for your child! We have found a wonderful + free resource to start you off! 
Check them out here!
Do you have little tricks that help you or your child remember the little tasks? Share below!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Chemotherapy Tip No. 1

We have officially made it to our second Monday! Today we would like to offer one of our founder’s, Spencer Harrison’s, favorite tip! When Spencer was diagnosed at the age of 13 with cancer, he was unprepared for what Chemotherapy would be like. It is our sincere hope that this blog post, and all of our post in the future, will help you + provide you with a little comfort.
As Spencer began chemotherapy, a family friend brought a candy bouquet to comfort him. Nonetheless, this seemingly simple + thoughtful gift would have a profound impact on his treatment +  help combat the side effects of chemotherapy. Chemo and the numerous of medications a child takes during treatment causes a terrible taste in most patient’s mouths. 
Spencer found that the only trick to help subside this side effect were sour skittles. The tart candy cut through the chemo taste and allowed him some relief. 
So today, try out our Monday tip: Sour Skittles! If you do, share your experience here! Likewise if you have any tips you believe other could benefit from-we would love to hear from you!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Packed Protein Information + Recipe!

As a parent, you are continually exposed to the statement that good nutrition is key to your children; but what happens when you add cancer to the mix? Nutrition becomes a vital component to their treatment + lifestyle.

Pediatric cancer patients, among many other nutrients, require sufficient protein intake. Protein assists in “growing, repairing tissues, maintaining skin, blood cells, the immune system, and the lining of the digestive track” [American Cancer Society]. 
We have found this delicious + simple recipe for Cheese Garlic Bread Spread with 26.3 Grams of protein! 
You will need:
 ½-1 cup margarine
 3 teaspoons chopped garlic
 ½ teaspoon garlic powder
 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
 ¼ cup parmesan cheese
 1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Check out the complete instructions here!