On his birthday Nov. 23, 15-year-old Walnut Grove teen Brendan Whieldon had much to celebrate, including officially being cancer free and off chemotherapy for two years.
Officially, he's told, his neuroblastoma - a typically fatal form of cancer with which he was diagnosed at the age of four - is in remission.
Brendan became well-known in Langley when, despite being in the midst of a terrible battle with cancer, he began fundraising to help other children with cancer, as well as their families, through BC Children's Hospital and the B.C. Childhood Cancer Parent's Association (BCCCPA).
The Grade 9 Walnut Grove Secondary student is still selling calendars to raise money and doing public speaking for BCCH to support the new hospital.
"He's doing it so all the children can get the same chance he got with the new oncology unit," said his mother, Shannon.
Anyway, to celebrate last week, Brendan chose to make a batch of his famous nachos, which are always a hit with his family and friends.
The difficulty arose, however, when it came to sharing the recipe. As a self-proclaimed, freestyle chef, Brendan didn't have it written down any where, commenting that it always changes - depending on what he craves and what's available.
So, in order to share it, he had his secretary (a.k.a. his mother Shannon) to write everything down as he created.
"He's a rotten teenager at times but fortunately they are getting fewer and farther between, but mostly he is a pretty cool kid," said Mom.
BRENDAN'S TEENAGE NACHOS
1 Jalapeno pepper
1 Anaheim pepper
1 Habanero pepper
1 Tabasco pepper
1 Bell pepper, red, orange, green
1 jar black olives
1 bag Tortilla Chips
1 block old cheddar cheese
1 container sour cream
1 container hot salsa sauce
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Wash peppers. Use ¼ of each pepper. Cut into chunks.
Pour tortilla chips on a baking sheet. Sprinkle peppers on top of tortilla chips.
Grate cheese. Half a block, or more, so don't let your parents see how much you use. The more cheese, the better.
Sprinkle cheese generously on top of tortilla chips.
Bake in oven 5-10 minutes until cheese melts.
Watch carefully, because I've had a few fires, and it is hard to hide the smoke with the smoke alarm screaming.
"Cooking? I wasn't cooking." Serve with sour cream and salsa. Straight from the jar, no need to make more dishes to clean up.
- Brendan Whieldon Cancer survivor and fundraiser for BC Children's Hospital