Children's Cancer Recovery

CCRF Blog

StoryWish

Does your child love books and are bursting with creativity? Look no further than signing up for the StoryWish Summer Stories for Life program! This summer, we will be hosting an event where chronically ill children aged 8-13 can write their very own storybook with the guidance of a high school or college student volunteer.
 
We take pride in our patient, friendly, passionate, and kind volunteers who can't wait to work with your child! To successfully complete the program, your child and the volunteer must meet for a minimum of 10 hours over Facetime/Skype/any other online video chat medium, as this will be convenient for both parties. At the conclusion of the program, your child’s storybook will be printed through an online publishing service, and you will receive 4 published hard copies of the book to enjoy, 1 plush StoryWish bunny, 1 certificate of completion, and 1 personal thank you card from us for participating!
 
If you're interested in joining or know anyone who would be interested, please sign up at the following link: https://event.gg/9902/.
 
For further information, please visit our website at www.storywishprogram.org, like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/storywishprogram, or follow us on Instagram at www.instagram.com/storywishprogram. If you have any questions, please feel free to email storywishfounder@gmail.com. Hope you have an amazing day!

Essential Oils for Summer

FUN IN THE SUN: BUG OFF!

 

Good morning, Good Night & All Points in Between,

Sweet, sweet summer – how we have missed you! But whoever referred to “the lazy days of summer” must not have faced acres of unruly plants, juggled playdates amidst summer camps, or cleaned muddy pawprint after muddy pawprint from the kitchen floor after multiple visits to the creek. So, while essential oils can support all facets of this active time of year (from gardening to emotional support, from our furry family to green cleaning), this month’s blog is going to focus on one main topic: insect repellent.

The enjoyment of longer days often brings some undesirable visitors to our campfires and cookouts. As the pests invade, many head to find the long forgotten, often chemical based repellants in the hopes of deterring unwanted guests. Yet there are many safety concerns related to both human and environmental health with the use of synthetic chemicals to control insects (Bug Repellent: What’s In it?). Commercial bug repellants are comprised of active ingredients, which are required on the labeling, as well as inert ingredients (such as fragrance, preservatives, and solvents), which are not required to be listed. While some studies have been done regarding the efficacy of bug repellants, studies have NOT been carried out to fully understand exactly how each chemical repels insects and more importantly, how they may affect our bodies and the environment, let alone what the impact may be of the myriad ingredients in combination (Environmental Health Perspectives). Federal law protects companies’ rights to keep inert ingredients confidential because they are considered trade secrets. This can result in chemicals of concern finding their way into bug sprays and ultimately into our bodies.

Going back to April’s Blog, it is imperative to remember that what we put ON our bodies goes IN to our bodies. The United States regulates insect repellants as pesticides because the active ingredients in those repellants ARE pesticides. There is growing evidence that pesticide exposure is linked to a number of diseases including asthma, cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and more (Beyond Pesticides, Disease Database).

What if we could ensure 100% that what we put on our skin is indeed chemical free? Making your own bug repellant products utilizing dōTERRA essential oils is not only affordable and environmentally friendly but a sure-fire way to know that what you are putting on your body will not be toxic to your body. For centuries, essential oils have been traditionally used throughout the world to ward off insects. Modern scientific research has validated the traditional use of essential oils as natural repellants. Furthermore, a product based on a mixture of essential oils is often more powerful than one based only on one oil (doTERRA Essential Science: Bug Off).

Many essential oils (including Arborvitae, Cedarwood, Cinnamon, Clove, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Lemongrass, Spearmint, Peppermint, Rosemary, and Thyme, to name a few) have known repellency properties. doTERRA takes the guesswork out of what combination to try through the Terrashield Outdoor Blend, which combines the repellent properties of Ylang Ylang, Tamanu, Nootka, Cedarwood, Catnip, Lemon Eucalyptus, Litsea, Arborvitae, and Vanilla Bean Absolute into one bottle that can be used by every member of the family, outdoors and throughout the home. All these oils contain specific chemical compounds known to protect against unwanted summer guests. Toss those candles and instead, add 3-4 drops of Terrashield to a diffuser or a few drops to cotton balls and place around your picnic tables. Utilize the blend topically before outdoor activities. A great trick is to simply combine a few drops of Terrashield with doTERRA’s unscented hand and body lotion and apply to arms and legs, then follow with the Terrashield spray or a combination of the aforementioned oils in your own DIY spray.

(**Please take note: while essential oils provide many options for effective natural insect repellents, if you still get bitten, please remove harmful parasites through proven, conventional methods such as those found on the Center for Disease control’s website).

To learn more, PLEASE JOIN US FOR A CLASS (Click Here to Register) on utilizing Essential Oils for your Summer Fun. All attendees will be entered in a class giveaway. All proceeds benefit the Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation

Remember, all it takes is one small drop to create a ripple that can lead to a cascade of possibilities.

emma

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7btq8eYavY
dōTERRA: www.mydoterra.com/emmadiehl
Email: realdiehls09@gmail.com

 

About Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation

Headquartered in New Oxford, PA, the Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation supports children under 18 and their families facing the hardships of cancer. The foundation performs acts of care and kindness through the following programs: Bear-Able Gifts (largest distributor of gifts to children with cancer in the U.S.); the Helping Hands Fund (provides emergency financial assistance to families); and Camp Scholarships (allows children in remission to reconnect with activities they love). With a national pediatric hospital partner network of 215+ locations, the foundation directly helps more than 16,000 children affected by cancer and their families every year. Please visit www.ChildrensCancerRecovery.org.

Aaron’s Story

My son's name is Aaron and he was a gift from God in that he came to us through adoption. He's the sweetest little boy and from the moment I held him, just seconds old, he has been the center of my world. Due to divorce, we are now a family of three - myself, my mom and Aaron.

My son was 5 when he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He was just three weeks into a brand new experience - Kindergarten. It came out of nowhere. No obvious symptoms. We woke up on September 20th to get ready for church and he was covered head to toe with a strange rash. Our journey through the world of pediatric cancer came at us very abruptly and it hasn't stopped yet. After 5 months of intensified chemotherapy treatments, blood transfusions, platelets, bone marrow biopsies and aspirates we were unable to obtain remission and headed to Duke University for a life-saving Bone Marrow/Stem Cell Transplant. We spent 7 months in Durham, NC while Aaron underwent and recovered from this procedure which required that I walk away from my job. As of March 18, 2018, Aaron is two years cancer free and two years post Bone Marrow Transplant. Thank you, Jesus! He is now 8 and loves soccer and his doggy Sebastian.  

He is still undergoing treatment for a transplant side effect known as Graft vs. Host Disease. The donor cells are still not playing nice with his original cells but we are working toward that. In the meantime, it's not the most comfortable thing for Aaron to endure as it causes GI and skin issues that are just constant and aggravating for Aaron. Please join us in prayers for this.  

Aaron has not been in school full time since his diagnosis. He spent all but the first three weeks of Kindergarten on homebound. First grade was all-homebound and he's been in school about 40 days of this year's attempt at first grade. His homeschool teacher is the best and we pray that 2nd grade will be an easy adjustment for him in the fall. He has dreams of becoming a firefighting veterinarian and I'm trusting and hoping that God has the same plans and will make a way for him to catch up where he's fallen behind.  

Throughout this journey, God has just shown up in so many unbelievable ways. He has surrounded us so completely with exactly what we have needed. A bible verse at the right time to speak to the very thing that we were struggling with. A hug, a phone call at just the right time, amazing doctors, treatment options (many families we've gotten to know don't have options), resources to buy prescriptions, to travel out of state for treatment and pay bills that couldn't get paid while I was unemployed for 14 months. We were indeed blessed with a faith community that just picked us up and held us tight and refused to let go. Many in this community we've never met and yet God has still brought them to our side. We were so amazingly blessed. You all are a part of that community, as are organizations like Special Love. Aaron has also enjoyed a week of camp through Special Love. There he was able to just be himself. He was amongst fellow survivors who understand his issues and were not as harsh on him as other children have been because they just don't understand what he's been through.  

We live on such a very tight budget due to the financial fall out that comes along with a pediatric cancer diagnosis. This tight budget makes camp and respite opportunities impossible to even think about. When you add my single parent status into that equation - the impossible just got that much more impossible. So with all my heart, I thank you for following God's calling and being the light for our family as we continue to work through this journey of pediatric cancer. My family is thankful for all of you!

 

About the Camp Scholarships Program

Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation's Camp Scholarships Program provides funding for a child in remission to attend a camp of their choice. Cancer often isolates children from their friends and activities they love. The Camp Scholarships Program helps children in remission to reconnect with those friends and activities. Camp allows children who have faced a cancer diagnosis to gain independence, make new friends, and develop new skills. You can sponsor a child and send them to camp by donating to CCRF's Camp Scholarships Program. Mail cash or check to 249 Lincoln Way E., New Oxford, PA 17350 or donate online at https://give-ccrf.networkforgood.com/.

Common Household Items That Contain Harmful Toxins

Toxic chemicals can impact our health and the environment. However, there are many everyday household items that contain these toxins to some degree. Although most of us will never feel the full impact of them, there can be some health issues associated with their use. In this article, we look at some of the most commonly occurring toxins found in the home.

Cleaning Supplies

Although incredibly convenient, commercial cleaning products are full of toxins known as volatile organic compounds. Present in a wide array of products, these compounds have some significant health risks. Many can irritate the respiratory system, eyes, and prolonged exposure can even cause cancer. Thankfully there are alternatives to store-bought, harmful cleaners that can reduce the exposure to these harmful toxins for you and your family. The green cleaning trend is gathering pace, as people prefer using natural and readily available ingredients such as white vinegar instead of harsh chemical cleaners.

Plastic Containers

Plastic is widely used in the food industry, from food containers to plastic wrap, to water bottles. However, little is known about the long-term impacts of using these plastics. It is understood that plastic chemicals leach into food. This is particularly true when food is heated in plastic containers, or when salty or acidic foods are stored in plastic. There is not enough data to say how safe or unsafe this may be, but you may be best trying to limit how much you use plastics in your day to day life.

Dust

Dust is certainly annoying and unsightly, and the battle against it can seem constant. However, there is often more than just dirt in household dust. Recent studies have shown the potentially toxic chemicals can be readily mixed in with dust. Chemicals from cleaning products, beauty products, and chemicals from outdoors can all settle in dust. This mix of dirt and toxins will become airborne when disturbed and could be potentially harmful. Vacuuming and mopping floors is a good way of minimizing your exposure to dust.

Pesticides

Many of us wouldn’t consider pesticides a household item as such, but they’re more prevalent in our lives than you may think. Whether it’s in pest control products, fruit, and vegetables, or gardening products, pesticides are frequently used. There are some fairly significant dangers associated with pesticide use, and many people aren’t aware of this. Try to avoid introducing such toxins into your house by using non-chemical methods of pest control and buying organic, pesticide-free foods when you shop.

Non-stick Cookware

Teflon is a substance that has made cooking more convenient for some years now. However, such non-stick cooking products are made using highly toxic materials. Worryingly, there has been a range of health complaints linked to the use of these products. When pans that use them heat up, a compound known as PFOA is released. There are alternative products that you can use to avoid exposure to this toxin, including pans made from ceramic and cast iron.

There are various toxins that come from seemingly innocuous household items or products. By knowing about them, you can take steps to minimize your family’s exposure to them

 

Guest Blogger: Kelli Gardener, Groom and Style

Essential Oils: From Head to Toe

Good morning, Good Night & All Points in Between,

“April showers bring May flowers,” although, for many throughout the East, I’m not so sure that the saying meant snow showers. Mother Nature’s fickleness aside, let’s shift gears to a different type of shower – the one many of us experience multiple times per week or even day – and the products we put on our bodies as part of that process.

Our skin is our largest organ, serving as a protective barrier, helping to stabilize our body temperature and allow us our sense of touch. The average consumers, particularly women, use about 9 products containing 126 different ingredients every single day on their bodies (Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database). The US government does not require health studies or pre-market testing on personal care products even though just about everyone is exposed to them. Consequently, the use of seemingly benign conventional cosmetics for our hair, skin, and nails can easily result in an exposure to thousands of chemicals, potentially putting you at risk for everything from respiratory issues to yes, cancer. Putting this into perspective, the US bans 11 chemicals for use in cosmetics (anything from shampoo to lip balm from lotions to sunscreen), while the European Union bans 1,328 (Campaign for Safe Cosmetics). Aside from the drastic difference in regulations, why should we care? Well, put very simply, what you put ON your skin goes INTO your skin and ultimately into your bloodstream and on to your organs, including your brain. Our skin can absorb up to 60% of what we put on it, with the more sensitive areas around our faces and armpits absorbing anywhere from 2 to 6 times more than other areas of the body. Many of the toxins and chemicals that we put on our bodies will make their way into your body and essentially become “stuck” there since the body lacks the means to break them down. This toxic load, in turn, becomes a significant contributing factor to health problems and serious diseases, especially for those whose healthy diet and exercise habits may be lacking. Bottom line, you should be just as aware of what you put ON your skin as you are with what you put IN your mouth.

Even plant-based ingredients can be harmful — think poison ivy— and should meet the same safety standards as those derived from petroleum, mines, or animals. Personal care products are a $500 billion industry in the United States with consumers seduced daily by flashy packaging, enticing aromas, and promises of everlasting youth. Red flags should immediately fly when products are marketed as “natural”, “clean,” “green,” “non-toxic” or “organic”. Do your research and check those ingredients as there are no skincare industry standards unless the USDA National Organic Program certifies the product.

What if we could ensure 100% that what we put on our skin is indeed safe? Making your own skin and hair care products utilizing dōTERRA essential oils or, at the very least, knowing you can rely on the company who is providing those products to do so with your health and wellness in mind is not only affordable and environmentally friendly but a sure-fire way to know that what you are putting on your body will not be toxic to your body. There are several properties – including cleansing, purifying, soothing, and nurturing - that make essential oils useful for our skin and hair care.

As you start incorporating essential oils into your daily skin care routine, you will find that some oils are better for the skin than others. First, make sure that the oil you intend to use on you is approved for topical use. Also, consider safety - should you dilute? Then, consider the kind of benefits you want for your skin. Do you need moisture and hydration? Consider cedarwood, geranium, myrrh or sandalwood. Do you want to promote an even skin tone? Consider juniper berry, geranium, or cypress. Are you trying to get rid of a pesky blemish, or soothe an irritating area? Consider melaleuca, lavender, or patchouli. Trying to fight the fine lines of aging? Consider Frankincense, Rose, or Ylang-Ylang. In addition to using single essential oils in your skincare routine, you can also access the benefits of essential oils for skin by using doTERRA’s skin care products that already have essential oils in them, making it all the more easier to use essential oils daily.

The same rings true for our hair care. Due to their moisturizing, soothing, and enriching properties, essential oils have been used for years in hair care routine throughout the world. Rosemary, geranium, peppermint, melaleuca, ylang-ylang, and sandalwood are just a few of the dōTERRA essential oils that can be incorporated to help our hair without all of the toxic baggage. In addition, doTERRA also has an entire hair care system that utilizes dōTERRA essential oils, gentle cleansers, and botanical ingredients that keep the hair looking clean and healthy without taxing our systems internally.

Needless to say, the benefits of incorporating essential extend far beyond the surface. From the uplifting scents of wild orange and lime for our hair or the purifying and invigorating scents of melaleuca and peppermint for our skin, the properties of essential oils can support us emotionally as well.

Can it be that simple? Once again, yes, it sure can!

To learn more, PLEASE JOIN US FOR A CLASS (Informative class AND/OR DIY class) on how incorporating essential oils into your skin and hair routines can support us both physically and emotionally. All attendees will be entered in a class giveaway. All proceeds benefit the Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation

Remember, all it takes is one small drop to create a ripple that can lead to a cascade of possibilities.

emma

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7btq8eYavY
DoTerra: www.mydoterra.com/emmadiehl
Email: realdiehls09@gmail.com

 

About Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation

Headquartered in New Oxford, PA, the Children's Cancer Recovery Foundation supports children under 18 and their families facing the hardships of cancer. The foundation performs acts of care and kindness through the following programs: Bear-Able Gifts (largest distributor of gifts to children with cancer in the U.S.); the Helping Hands Fund (provides emergency financial assistance to families); and Camp Scholarships (allows children in remission to reconnect with activities they love). With a national pediatric hospital partner network of 215+ locations, the foundation directly helps more than 16,000 children affected by cancer and their families every year. Please visit www.ChildrensCancerRecovery.org.