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Meet the Kids
It is awesome! It’s beyond words.
That's how Morgan, aged 14 and fighting cancer, summed up the Hope for Henry Summer Carnival at Children's Hospital in Washington, DC. On August 19, Hope for Henry brought the joys of summer to children who cannot cruise the boardwalk, splash around in a pool or lay on the soft grass daydreaming.
Hope for Henry transformed Children's National Medical Center's Outpatient Hematology and Oncology Clinic into a summertime escape for its pediatric patients. Every inch of available space was filled with the essentials of summertime fun.
Midway games, spin art, sand art, jugglers and beach pails filled with gifts all lent a festive air to the antiseptic hospital halls. The kids' eyes were wide as they filed in expecting another difficult, and likely painful clinic visit, but instead were met by the wonder of magicians, unicyclists and Georgetown Cupcakes.
Knowing exactly what will truly enthrall the wide age range of kids, not to mention their parents, is one of the things that Hope for Henry has mastered in its almost 10-years working with families fighting life-threatening illness.
Morgan noted that, "Everyone had fun. I thought it would be kiddy stuff, something small, but it turned out to be much bigger… and classy."
Attention to the whole family is always part of the equation for Hope for Henry. Parents and caregivers need a break and that’s what Hope for Henry strives to provide. As one parent who watched her child be entertained observed, "Clinic day is filled with fear and anxiety, and normally really, really long. But this was awesome!"
Jessica, the mom of another patient, told us the carnival "really improved what is usually a trying day. This was an A+ day."
Chowing down on pizza, getting a face painted like a ferocious tiger, digging into the penny candy and winning a cool prize at ring toss all made these kids, just kids – at least for one hot summer afternoon.