Pediatric picnic helps young patients 'feel normal for a day'

June 12, 2015 | by Denise Heady

Cancer and other life-threatening illnesses can be overwhelming experiences for adults. For children, who lack the life experience and context to put their diagnosis in perspective, the treatment and follow-up can be especially isolating. City of Hope’s youngest patients recently got a chance to overcome that isolation.

annual pediatric picnic at City of Hope Six-year-old Samantha Urias and her family make a stop at the photo booth during City of Hope's annual pediatric picnic.

More than 1,700 guests — City of Hope’s pediatric patients and survivors, plus their families — gathered on City of Hope’s Duarte campus for a special celebration of life, complete with kids, adults, doctors and nurses, all of whom understand the impact of treatment for cancer and other diseases.

The “Pacific Paradise”-themed pediatric picnic featured carnival-style games, comic artists, a face-painting booth, themed play zones, performances, and special appearances by cast members from Disney Channel's comedy series "K.C. Undercover” and “Girl Meets World.” Festivities even included a “City of Hope’s Got Talent” variety show featuring pediatric cancer survivors.

Most important, the picnic gave patients and their families the chance to have a good time with other patients and families who had experienced, or were still experiencing, the treatment journey. It also gave patients a chance to connect with their doctors, nurses and other health care providers in a nonclinical environment.

“It’s an uplifting event, especially for kids who are going through it,” said former patient Cindy Galan in an interview with the Pasadena Star-News. “It helps them to feel normal for a day.”

The 18th annual pediatric picnic was supported by volunteers and staff with donations from organizations including Ralphs, Smart & Final, Disney, Vons and more.

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Learn more about becoming a patient or getting a second opinion by visiting our website or by calling800-826-HOPE (4673). You may also request a new patient appointment online. City of Hope staff will explain what's required for a consult at City of Hope and help you determine, before you come in, whether or not your insurance will pay for the appointment.

Categories : Patient Care

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