Hospital throws holiday party for young patients

More than 300 people — kids with cancer or sickle cell disease and their families — celebrated the holidays at UIC Nov. 17. The event, which was hosted by the pediatric hematology/oncology department of the Children’s Hospital University of Illinois, included a Thanksgiving-inspired meal, holiday crafts, dancing and a gift exchange.

“Today is not about being a doctor or a patient,” said Mary Lou Schmidt, MD, UI Cancer Center member and professor of pediatrics and head of pediatric hematology and oncology. “It’s about having fun.”

Volunteers from the Girl Scouts, A Silver Lining, Bear Necessities and others helped kids use paint, paper, beads and a host of other materials to make holiday crafts. Students from the UIC College of Dentistry dressed up as tooth fairies and as “Mr. Molar,” encouraging kids to practice good brushing habits with a novelty-sized toothbrush and stuffed animals. Dunkin’ Donuts provided supplies so kids could decorate their donuts, and eat their dessert before lunch if desired.

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