Families Facing Cancer: Spotlight and Giveaway on Mighty + Bright

When Sara Olsher was diagnosed with cancer at age 34, her first thought was her 6-year-old daughter. As a single mom, the two were incredibly close, and Sara was deeply worried about her daughter’s mental health.

“I worried a lot about whether I would be okay, of course, but it was all about how cancer would impact my daughter,” Sara said. “I know I can deal with almost anything, but I wasn’t sure if my daughter could.”

Sara’s first order of business was to find a children’s book to explain her diagnosis. Unfortunately, what she was looking for — a book that explained the actual science of cancer in an age-appropriate, non-scary way — didn’t exist.

As an illustrator, Sara had enough experience to put together a book on the topic, which she published through her company Mighty + Bright. The book is called What Happens When Someone I Love Has Cancer and now has well over a hundred five-star ratings on Amazon and is used in hospitals across the United States.

As it turns out, this book was just the beginning.

Throughout her treatment, Sara desperately wished for some way to make cancer easier. Her explanation took the fear out of cancer for her daughter but did nothing to manage the chaos and stress of long-term cancer treatment. Sara relied on her “village” to help with school drop-offs and pickups, meals, and more, and her daughter was often confused about who would be in the house each day. She worried that someone would forget to pick her up at school.

Sara also struggled to come up with ways to stay emotionally connected to her daughter. Games of tag and play dates in the park were now replaced with long stretches of time where Sara was too exhausted to even come up with activities to do from the couch.

Sara’s solution was a visual calendar, which helped her daughter easily see what she could expect each day. Would mom be extra tired from chemo? Or would it be a “good day,” closer to the end of the cycle? The calendar also had low-key activities the two could do together. Sara’s daughter picked out the activities and chose the day they’d do them, giving the pair something to look forward to.

Since Sara’s diagnosis in 2017, she has continued to build her company to help with a number of difficult life circumstances. She now has book and calendar sets for everyday use in addition to special sets for kids facing parental divorce, their own pediatric cancer diagnosis, or the diagnosis of a parent or sibling. Through her nonprofit organization, Resilience Campaign, Sara is seeking funding to provide these resources to pediatric cancer patients and their siblings.

Using these books and calendars, Sara found a way to take things that are incredibly complicated and make them simple and easy to understand.

“These tools brought both of us security and peace,” Sara says. “Every day, my daughter could check the calendar to see – where in the chemo cycle is mom? When will she start to feel better? What activity can I choose for us to do together? This calendar was a gift. It was the gift of being able to connect with my child, even when I was exhausted.”

Through her experience with cancer, Sara learned a lesson so deeply that it has become a core part of who she is. And that lesson is this: Making life more simple makes space for the things that really matter.

It makes space so your brain isn’t preoccupied with keeping track of everything under the sun, and for connection with the people, we love.

Learn more about Sara and how to purchase her amazing resources at MightyandBright.com. You can also follow her on Facebook, and Instagram.

We will be giving away a children’s book and calendar kit of your choice to one lucky winner.

Choose one or more ways to enter:

  1. Sign up for email notifications at ChildLifeMommy.com and leave a comment below.
  2. Facebook: Follow Child Life Mommy and tag two friends.
  3. Facebook: Follow Mighty + Bright Co and leave a comment.
  4. Instagram: Follow @ChildLifeMommy and @MightyandBrightCo tag two friends in the post.
  5. Twitter: Follow, Like, and RT the post to @ChildLifeMommy

Good luck, the winner will be chosen by 9/4/21. Open to U.S. residents.

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Are Your Child’s Toys Cluttering Your Home? How to Maximize Your Home’s Storage Space

Guest Blogger, Brooke Chaplan

Toys will clutter your home until children are trained to put them away tidily. You should find toy organization products that will help you put toys away quickly and easily and accommodate the needs of your children as they grow.

Plastic Bins with Lids

Clear plastic bins with lids are inexpensive ways to store toys and put them away quickly. You can label each bin based on the activity. You can label one bin for crafts or coloring or other activity. This will help you put the toys or other objects in the proper box and find them easily when you need them. You can stack these bins and save space. Different labels can be used as the child grows and activities change. Storage for children should not only be for immediate use but future-friendly. These plastic bins are available at discount stores. You can use them for many years to store toys and other objects.

Pull-out Shelves

Racks with pull-out shelves are useful storage spaces where toys and games can be stored quickly to remove clutter from a room. These racks have pull-out shelves in the form of plastic baskets. Clear plastic baskets will allow your child to find the toy they want easily. They can also learn to organize their toys and find them easily. Some racks come with colorful pull-out bin shelves. These shelves are handy for storing Lego pieces and other crafts. Children can put Lego pieces on different colored shelves correctly and get them out easily when they need them. Pull-out plastic container shelves are safe and your child will not get hurt while taking out or putting their toys.

Wicker Baskets

You can use wicker baskets to maximize the storage space for toys. You can tie tags to label the activity or toy in each basket. Wicker baskets are practical and attractive and hold the child’s growing requirements. You can use the same wicker baskets to store a wide range of objects that the growing child needs. Experts believe that storage products to declutter toys should not only address the immediate needs of children but should store whatever they need as they grow. Wicker baskets can store a wide range of toys and other objects and make a home look attractive at the same time.

Children are not naturally tidy. It takes years of training to make them tidy individuals. Finding low-cost yet practical and attractive ways to organize toys quickly and easily will make toy organizing a stress-free activity for parents.

Helping My Kids Cope with a Learning Difference

I was honored to be featured as a podcast guest with Child Life on Call. This is my second appearance and the focus was on supporting my children through their learning differences of ADHD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, and coping with anxiety.

Like many, parenting through the pandemic and adapting to distance learning wasn’t easy. My youngest, Blake struggles with dyslexia and dysgraphia. He was doing really well in school and with outside support prior to the lockdown. As soon as he had to go online to finish his second-grade year, his confidence went down the tubes.

I also witnessed my oldest, Gavin who has dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADHD, and struggles with anxiety become overwhelmed with his middle school curriculum online.

As a parent, I have had to learn to navigate the special education road. Learning terms like Individual Educational Plan (IEP),  baseline assessments, and understanding my children’s legal educational rights. 

Take a listen to our story and share it with others who are coping with learning differences.

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My Child Life Journey: Podcast Conversation 

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