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Holiday Treats and Holiday Sweets

Family Matters - Winter 2011

The holidays were filled with lots of activities that brought the joy of the season to patients in the Children’s Cancer Hospital. You can read below about what many of our kiddos were up to.

Thanksgiving dinner

Thanks to Applebee’s, families with their patients who were hospitalized on Thanksgiving Day were treated to a Thanksgiving feast in the PediDome. Everyone was served traditional Thanksgiving dishes by volunteers from the Division of Pediatrics staff and they were all thankful to enjoy the holiday in a festive atmosphere.

Lombardi Award nominee visit

There were no cries of “touchdown” and no penalties given when patients and their caregivers were surprised by a visit from the finalists for the 2010 Rotary Lombardi Award on Dec. 8.

The players and their Rotary escorts visited with patients in the Robin Bush Clinic and in the Children’s Cancer Hospital PediDome. Autographed photos of the patients with the football players and Miss Texas, who was also visiting with the players, miniature souvenir footballs and warm conversation were all part of the visit.

A number of patients dressed up in tuxedos hitched a ride in a limousine that evening to attend the award dinner and have one more opportunity for inspiration.

Continental Airlines holiday party

If you’ve never been to the North Pole, you should have been with over 100 Children’s Cancer Hospital “vacationers” on Dec. 11 when they were treated to a trip to Santa’s frosty home by Continental Airlines. Families were "flown" to the North Pole on a real jet complete with “in-flight” entertainment including a Christmas caroling sing-off and Christmas trivia.

At the North Pole (a Continental hanger, but don’t tell the kiddos), families met Santa, received a gift and participated in many activities such as train rides, a bouncy obstacle course, a petting zoo and live music. An Astros pitcher and retired NFL football players, as well as local pageant crown holders, were also part of the fun. Airport vendors and Continental served up food and drinks, too.

Adam’s Angels holiday party

More than 30 families from the Children’s Cancer Hospital celebrated the season on Dec. 15 when the crew from Adam’s Angels sponsored their annual holiday party. Young patients created a variety of seasonal craft projects with the help of volunteers from Adam's Angels organization.

Children had their pictures taken with Santa and received a frame to display it in plus their choice of a special gift. The day was topped off with lunch from Chili's and gingerbread men from Three Brothers Bakery to decorate.

Gingerbread house

The Houston Racquet Club spent a week creating an amazing gingerbread house for the patients and families at MD Anderson Cancer Center to enjoy over the holidays. It was donated in honor of the Children's Cancer Hospital and arrived for display in the Alkek Hospital lobby on Dec. 22.

In addition to this beautiful gingerbread creation, the Houston Racquet Club also rallied its members to make a donation to the Children’s Cancer Hospital. “Santa” brought $3,400 for the Child Life area, as well as toys to distribute to patients.

The house remained on display until the second week in January, when the patients were able to help in the "tear-down" of the house.

Christmas dinner

It’s no fun to be in the hospital on Christmas Day, but Volunteer Services provided a delicious Christmas meal to patients and their families in the PediDome. Though it wasn’t exactly like being home for the holidays, there was lots of holiday spirit for this extended family.

© 2015 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center