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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One Child’s Mission to Bring Joy to Hospitalized Children: Spotlight on NEGU Jessie Rees Foundation

“How can we help them?” Jessie Rees asked this simple question to her parents as they drove home from her cancer treatment appointment. She was dealing with her own diagnosis of a brain tumor (DIPG) but still wanted to help other children. She ignited hope and shared it. The motto, NEVER EVER GIVE UP (NEGU) was coined by her. 

The Jessie Rees Foundation was quickly formed with a mission to encourage kids fighting cancer. Jessie began to create JoyJars, a container filled with activities, games, and comfort items for children. They have been shipped to all 50 states and over 40 countries. 

Jessie courageously fought cancer from March 3, 2011, to January 5, 2012. She lost her battle, but her life is forever honored through her mission of NEGU. 

I have personally seen the positive impact on children when they receive a JoyJar. The smile on their face and excitement in their voice says it all. They feel the pure joy of being a kid and are inspired by Jessie’s mission.

Get involved with ClubNEGU

If you have a child with cancer, then sign them up for ClubNEGU. They will receive monthly JoyJars that will help to boost their spirit during treatment.

Make an Impact

Join Jessie’s mission to Never Ever Give Up by making a donation today or volunteering. They are always looking for compassio0nate hearts to help spread joy to others. Be sure to follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

The Puddle Jumper’s Guide to Kicking Cancer: Spotlight and Giveaway

When a child is diagnosed with cancer, it can be incredibly traumatizing. Families have to adapt to a new world that is filled with doctor appointments, chemo, hospitalizations, and side effects. There are supportive medical providers, such a child life specialists, oncologists, and nurses that become part of the family. They offer education and resources to make this new transition more manageable, so families can feel empowered.

I’m happy to share a new resource that was inspired by one family’s cancer journey. I hope that you can add this to your library and support families coping with cancer.

Read more