Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween! Check out this Halloween Game!

Halloween Game
As you may know, a pediatric cancer patient begins to call their hospital their second home due to the countless hours of treatment. Teen with a Dream knows how long treatments can seems without entertainment. This is why we have found a wonderful [and free] printable Halloween themed bingo! Whether you are at the hospital now, or have a visit coming up print off this adorable bingo set to help the time pass!
Do you and your family have any tricks to pass the time during treatment? Share them with us below!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Happy Hallows Eve!

We have found a kid friendly spooktacular tale to tell the kiddos tonight! Read about an old haunted house in Arkansas with ghosts who have some savvy baking skills!
Read it here! 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Candy YouTube Challenge Video

Today, find a little joy in the hilarious things that kids say! We love this classic video from Jimmy Kimmel “Halloween Candy YouTube Challenge”! Take a look!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Self Soothing Techniques: PHASE TWO

Last week we exposed you to self soothing techniques to ease you touch sense, today we will focus on taste. Taste is something that may dramatically change during treatment. It has a profound impact on cravings, appetite, and moreover the way food may taste in general. 
As provided by About Health follow these techniques to soothe your taste sense:
 Eating a comforting meal
 Sipping herbal tea
 Eating healthy food
 Slowly sucking on hard candy

Monday, October 27, 2014

Acupuncture Points to Combat Nausea

Happy Monday Dreamers! As you know we have focused multiple blog posts on combatting nausea. Well, we would like to connect you with a natural resource to help ease a child’s upset stomach. Acupuncture is a wonderful and easy technique that does not require another medication.

Follow these steps as provided by the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center:
1. Position your hand so that your fingers are pointing up and your palm is facing you.
3. To find pressure point P-6, place the first 3 fingers of your opposite hand across your wrist (see Figure 1). Then, place your thumb on the point just below your index finger (see Figure 2). You should be able to feel two large tendons under your thumb.
4. Use your thumb or forefinger to press on this point in a circular motion for 2 to 3 minutes. The pressure should be firm but not cause discomfort.
5. Repeat the process on your other wrist.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Quick and Easy Recipe Halloween Snack!

Check out this frighteningly fabulous take on a classic and healthy snack to prepare you for a wicked Halloween! We have found a simple way to make your child smile today with these apple bites! 
Here is what you will need:
  • Apples
  • Slivered almonds

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Parents: Meet our feature, Heather, and learn core routines that you can do anywhere!

Dear Parents,

Heather, an amazing instructor at M2 Core+ Pilates, is our Saturday Feature. Heather is sharing amazing and simple ways to do Pilates during this hectic time period. The best part? You can do these exercises in the hospital room, outside the hospital, at home etc! Read more from Heather:
Pilates has many benefits and is a great way to improve flexibility, strength and endurance in the Upper torso and truck. It teaches you personal body awareness by connecting mind and body, while building coordination and control.  It will help elongate, lengthen and tone muscles from the inside out.  
Here are a few moves you can do anywhere, anytime without any equipment:
Pilates for a Stronger Core:
This routine focuses on isometric training which involves contracting muscles against stationary resistance; common for injury and rehabilitation or reconditioning. Helps strengthen upper-body and lower-body muscles along the front and midsection of your body. Increase flexibility, stabilization and posterior muscle groups. 
Complete the following for at least 60 seconds and 30 seconds if you are a beginner.  Repeat routine multiple times to achieve a higher heart rate or longer workout.
  1. Arm walk planks 
  2. Planks at least 
  3. Plank Mountain climbers at 
  4. Jumping Jack planks
  5. Rollups
  6. Bicycles 
  7. Tailbone angel
  8. Single leg stretch 
  9. Double leg stretch
  10. Hundreds

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Halloween Chemo Day Care Bags

Taking our Chemo Day Care Bags to the Halloween level and giving you all a peek inside them; just in case your not aware of what a Chemo Day Care Bag is, it’s a bag filled, with tips, tricks, toys, and games that help with the 8 to 10 hour chemotherapy day at a hospital. Weather it is to make you smile, laugh, or take your mind of it Teen with a Dream has it covered. We have bags for all ages groups and both sexes. 

Here are 2 examples one boy and one girl Halloween bag: 
In the first we have a plush boy toy, a classic Halloween DVD, a make your own kaleidoscope that uses candy (what else for Halloween), a windup toy, and a scary monster stuffed animal. 
In the second we have a dress up tiara, a Scooby Doo DVD, a ice cream flavored lip balm, a plush toy, and a faux fur bag perfect for a night out trick or treating. 
Do you know anyone who needs one of our signature Chemo Day Care bag? Seen us an email and let us know. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Cancer Survivor stands tall on Mt. Everest

John Muir once said “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn”. 
We are always told to climb to the top and battle our struggles. Cancer is an unimaginable battle that so many individuals know too well, cancer has become the Mt. Everest of life’s battles. 
Meet Sean Swarner, he decided to turn his battle into embrace, Swarner [quite literally] climbed and conquered Mt. Everest! Sean was diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin’s disease at thirteen. He was told by his doctors that he would not live longer than three months, so he decided to prove them, and everyone wrong. Not only did Sean conquer cancer, he also conquered 29,002 feet. Sean is still the only cancer survivor to stand on the summit of Mt. Everest. 
Read his truly inspiring story in full here!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sibling Support

Some of our littlest Dream Team Members
It extremely difficult as a parent of a child with cancer to juggle doctor appointments, siblings extracurriculars and everyday tasks. Something that may be [understandably] put on the back burner is siblings extracurricular activities. It is important to recognize that pediatric cancer patients are coping and adjusting with their brother’s or sister’s diagnosis as well. 
According to here are a few ways to provide support to your other children:
    • Get help.
    • Talk with your other children about cancer.
    • Reassure your children.
    • Talk with your children about their feelings and worries.
    • Share your own feelings and fears. ]
    • Spend time with the healthy siblings.
    • Involve the siblings with making decisions. 
    • Let your other children help.
    • Help your children keep in touch. 
    • Encourage the siblings to do things they enjoy.
    • Keep things consistent.
    • Seek professional help. 
    • Take care of yourself.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Side Effect of Chemo: Chapped Lips

For those who may not know, chemotherapy can have profound impacts on a patient’s lips, skin and hair. 
Chemotherapy interacts with a person’s natural oils and sweat glands, drying them out. On top of the already numerous side effects chemo can cause, we have found a tip to potentially ease this specific side effect. 
We have found a wonderful natural remedy to assist in putting back moisture into the skin, particularly the lips. 
We have found a natural lip balm recipe from Cinco Vida, here is what you will need:
  • Mix olive oil and sugar together (equal amounts) and rub gently on lips to exfoliate and make them smooth
  • For soft lips, apply tomato paste and milk cream.
  • To prepare your own balm, mix 2 tsps coconut oil, lemon juice, 3 drops of lemon oil and 1 tsp bee wax.
  • Warm it on a low flame.
  • After melting, pour into a glass jar.
Do you have any natural suggestions to help chapped lips or dry skin? Comment below!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Healthy Halloween Candy Recipes!

Halloween is a holiday filled with sweet treats everyone loves, but when you are a pediatric cancer patient these delicious goodies may be cut from your diet. 
As you have seen through our past posts, we have focused multiple Sundays on the significance of maintaining a nutritious diet. Candies found in the store are yummy, but they tend to not be the healthiest option. That is why we have found this fabulous resource for you this warm Sunday! 
Here are alternative healthy recipes to some of our favorite halloween candy!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Halloween while you’re a cancer patient….

Hello Everyone, I’m Spencer Harrison, for a quick introduction to myself I’m the founder and CEO of Teen with a Dream, but I’m also a cancer survivor. At the age of 14 I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma a rare form of cancer. I had the unfortunate and unpleasant task of going through chemotherapy through during Halloween. I was diagnosed the week before I started my freshman year of High School, one would think I would have started to feel left out and upset then but I did not. The truth is I didn’t really know what to think when I was first diagnosed in August of 2003. But I did start to feel left out when Halloween rolled rounded. Growing up we all know Halloween is a right of passage,  at school everyone dresses up and you spend the day searching for the best costume. Even in classes you wait for the teachers to come in so see how creative they got. All of this and you spend the day so hopped up on sugar you barley notice that you are actually in class. After school you get to eat more candy and then spend time running around at night with your friends getting free candy. So when you spend a lifetime of school parities and spending time with your friends it is tough to realize that there is no Halloween for you this year. Most chemotherapy kids can’t go to school because of low immunity and I was one of them. So Halloween became the crowning item on my list of things that were taken away from me and it well, made me mad! So the purpose of this post is not so that I can express my righteous anger, but so that I can share things that helped me.  The first being friends, close family friends came over and had dinner and then went trick or treating, I can’t tell you how nice it is to have friends who understand you but also treat you like normal. Second would be being able to wear a mask outside and it not look weird, Halloween is all about the custom and for once my very pale skin, no hair, and need to wear a hospital mask fits in and so embrace it.  And lastly, doing something normal, find a way to celebrate like you did before you were diagnosed. It truly helps. When we can show that cancer doesn’t take everything from us it makes it that much easier to go in every week and battle it.  That is why with my nonprofit we wanted to put on a Halloween party every year in germ lite environment so that it allows you to feel a little normal on Halloween. 
I hope you find these tips and my story helpful, and Happy Halloween. 
Spencer Harrison 

Founder Teen with a Dream, Cancer Survivor

Friday, October 17, 2014


It is SPLURGE! Friday Dream Team! Lets get in the autumn spirit with these wonderful Halloween themed crafts! As you may know Teen with a Dream truly believes in the benefits that art therapy has on children, moreover, in pediatric cancer patients. 
We came across some simple, fun, and fabulous Halloween crafts! These crafts are great for kids and even teens! Arts and crafts bring teens back to their childhood and can initiate positive thoughts. 
See all of these spooktacular crafts here

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Inspiring Story + Dream of Nico

Today, we have an amazing story and program dreamed up by a 6-year-old little boy and his family that wanted to start a Halloween costume drive for other children with cancer. 
Nico Castro has a brain tumor and when he was told he could celebrate Halloween he thought of the children to sick to go outside. “Halloween’s my favorite,” Nico told “I don’t want them to miss out on the candy.” So the family started a drive so they children in the hospital could have some fun too. Nico dressed up as a storm trooper the day of the drive which lead one donor to ask “Which one’s the sick child?”. 
Just like Nico, we at Teen with a Dream, believe that Halloween celebration is great way for children celebrate and be creative. Unfortunately a lot of children with cancer miss out on the fun because they are out of school or because they are in the hospital. How amazing that Nico and his family showed the how cancer kids can still have time and round of applause for Nico for thinking of others! You are a rock star and a Dreamer Nico!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Self Soothing Techniques: Phase One

Today we want to introduce a couple techniques that are designed to “self soothe”. We will break down core senses through out the months to come on our blog. 
There are a multitude of stressors that surround us in our daily lives, but imagine adding a child who has cancer to the mix. Today we would like you to set a few minutes aside to invest in soothing one of your senses: touch. 
The following coping mechanisms provided by About Health are designed to target and alleviate our touch sense:
  • Soaking in a warm bath
  • Getting a massage
  • Relaxing in the warmth of the sun
  • Stretching
  • Going for a swim
  • Changing into comfortable clothes
  • Playing with an animal

Monday, October 13, 2014

Cold and Flu Season is Among Us

Happy Monday everyone, unfortunately it is that time of year again when flu and colds are in the air and we need to be even more mindful about washing out hands!
For anyone who is unaware, Chemotherapy suppresses your immune system. This makes it very easy for a child going through it to be more susceptible to cold and flu. That is why today’s tip is about Hand Sanitizer. 
We aren’t always around soap and water, so when in doubt use some hand sanitizer. According to the CDC the most effective hand sanitizer has a 60% alcohol or above to kill germs. This is a tip not just for children going through treatment but also their families and caregivers we don’t want you sick either!
Here is an amazing product that we believe in here at Teen with a Dream its called Frais It is not only has 66% alcohol content but also contains eight natural Australian essential oils that leaves the skin feeling pleasant and moisturized (it also smells amazing). This product also happens to be highly eco friendly, which is great to know when we are killing the germs on our hands.

Get this wonderful hand sanitizer here!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Candy Corn Pudding Pop

To finish off our Halloween Week we want to share this spooktacular recipe for Candy Corn Pudding Pops! Pudding is great snack when you aren’t feeling your best. These candy corn pudding pops are a great take on this classic snack. 
Here are the simple ingredients you will need:
[Makes 10 Pudding Pops]
  • Ice Pop Maker and Popsicle Sticks
  • Small box (3.3 oz) Instant Jello Pudding – White Chocolate Flavor for white layer
  • Large Box (5.1 oz) Instant Jello Pudding – Vanilla Flavor for yellow and orange layer
  • Honey
  • Red and Yellow food coloring
  • 4 cups of milk
For full list of instructions check them out here

A local mother’s journey through breast cancer

Today we are featuring a strong, local, parent whose life was forever changed following her breast cancer diagnosis. In 2012, Judy was diagnosed with Ductal Carcinoma in Situ [DCIS]. What does this mean? Well, it is a type of breast cancer where there is presence of abnormal cells inside a milk duct in the breast. Below Judy discussed her journey through breast Cancer.
What was your treatment plan following your diagnosis?
I had the cancer removed, I then had expanders put in place, three months later, I had Diep Flap reconstruction surgery performed.
What is the most helpful thing during your journey?
The most helpful thing during my journey through cancer was when I had first met with my doctor and she turned to me and said that I had nothing to worry about because everything was going to be ok. The love, support, and prayers from family and friends also made this journey easier to get through.
What were some tricks following your surgery?
After one of my first surgeries, the hospital provided heart shaped pillows that Breast Cancer patients use under their armpits to provide comfort during the healing process.
What would your advice be to someone who has recently been diagnosed?
I would say to keep calm and keep a very positive attitude, because it makes the whole process easier.
I had six surgeries for reconstruction, and to get through this process it was all about patience and be positive because at some point I knew that it was going to come to an end and everything would turn out wonderful.

We would like to take a moment to thank Judy for sharing her story with us, and we wish all the strength and love to cancer patients everywhere!

Friday, October 10, 2014


Happiest of SPLURGE! Friday’s Dream Team! Time is flying as our Halloween Blog Week is coming to an end! Today check out this great website that we find for simple, creative and DIY Halloween costumes! Costumes have become extremely expensive and if your child is going through chemo, that means piles of medical bills. 
So, find your inner creativity and craft up one of these adorable costumes! It will be a wonderful therapeutic activity that you and your child can collaborate on!
 Check them out here!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Spooktacular Program

Happy Thursday Dreamers! Continuing with our “Halloween Week”, we want to share with you how we are trying to put a sense of normalcy back into this holiday for pediatric cancer patients. As a child, this time of the year can be one of the most exciting: Halloween costumes, parties and of course, Trick-or-Treating. Unfortunately there is the real possibility that pediatric cancer patients will not be able to participate in these festivities.
Our Halloween Germ-Lite parties are designed to give patients back their Halloween celebrations. This Germ-Lite  event includes decorating craft pumpkins to take home, spooktacular games and show off their incredible costumes! It is our hope to put a smile on each child’s face.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Trick-or-Treat for Kids Off Their Feet!

Continuing on with our Halloween week we are featuring an amazing program with you today. Teen with a Dream was founded in Denver, so all of our Denver followers know and love Peyton Manning. Manning has been known for his passion to give back, especially with pediatric cancer patients!
Manning opened Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital in St. Vincent. Where they created a program called “Trick of Treat for kids off their feet”. This amazing program is where you can trick or treat for kids who are in the hospital or their immune system doesn’t allow for them go out on Halloween. 
Healthy kids can go around for them and then drop off the candy so that the kids in the hospital can then have some Halloween spirit too! It’s a great way to give back to the kids who are really missing the fun.  A mile high salute to Peyton Manning for giving back to these amazing patients!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

How to help your family friends going through a life with cancer…

It is difficult to begin to accept a reality where your child is sick. As a parent you are innate to making them feel better at all cost. While your support of your child is important, it is also essential to take care of yourself and the rest of your family.
A diagnosis can cause profoundly overwhelming times within a family, if you are a family friend of people who are going through pediatric cancer. Do you know someone going through a life with cancer? Here are some easy steps to take to help support your family friend provided directly by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute:
1. Don’t just ask; do. It’s nice to say, “Please let me know if there’s anything I can do.” But we love even more when people don’t leave the ball in our court, but make a concrete offer: “I’d like to bring a meal, if that would help. When would be the best time to deliver it?” or “I’m free this Saturday night. Want me to come babysit so you can have a night out?”
2. Give a gift card. It may seem impersonal, but it’s not. Having a child with cancer can be a major financial strain on families, between related expenses (parking, co-pays, take-out food, etc.) or a parent having to work less or not at all. Gift cards for household expenses like groceries, pharmacy and purchases at places like Target or The Home Depot can be a huge help. (Personally, I always appreciated Starbucks cards, too!)
3. Don’t forget siblings. Cancer is just as disruptive to the lives of “well” children as it is to their brothers or sisters with cancer. Siblings grapple with jealousy, fear, anger and a host of other emotions. If you want to send a gift for the child with cancer, give something equally special to his or her siblings. Not only will the siblings appreciate it; the parents will, too—trust me.
4. Help later. While it’s natural to want to help immediately after a child is diagnosed, don’t forget that cancer can be a long haul. There may be months or even years of treatment and hospital stays ahead. And while cancer quickly becomes the “new normal” for families, the emotional and financial strains remain.
I was thrilled when, just recently—a whole six months after our daughter’s diagnosis—a friend sent us a gift certificate to a gourmet Italian food store that makes amazing frozen entrees. There’s nothing like pulling a delicious, ready-made meal from the freezer after a long, draining day at the clinic.
5. Say something. We are moved and appreciative when friends send gifts, make meals, etc. But we also love getting cards (especially darkly funny ones—but that’s just us), emails, or even simply hearing “I’ve been thinking about you,” when we see friends and acquaintances. It’s a source of great comfort and strength to us to know that people are sending “good vibes” to our family.