Halloween at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

Dozens of children who are cancer patients were able to enjoy trick or treating today at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Every year the hospital's volunteers put on a fall festival for hte kids to help raise their spirits. Houston Public Radio's Laurie Johnson has more.

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Witches, wizards, fairies and superheroes are around every corner at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Most of them are patients, although many of the costumes adorned grown-up volunteers, staffmembers and doctors. About 60 children who are patients from the Children's Cancer Hospital at M.D. Anderson got dressed up and paraded through the hospital, trick-or-treating down the hallways and through the common areas. Seven-and-a-half-year-old Brian Jackson is ready for the fun.

"[What's your costume?] This is actually a Superman. [What made you decide to be Superman?] It's just I, it's just my mother told me if I could have a costume and I didn't really know which one, so I picked Superman."

Superman is having a great time. And that's the whole point, according to Volunteer Coordinator Susan Whitt. She says the festival helps these children enjoy normal activities, even though they are hospitalized.

"Kids still want to have fun. They want to be a part of all the things that kids want to do, you know, back in their homes and that's including trick-or-treating and pulling fun pranks and eating way too much candy and you know doing all these fun carnival games."

And since they are at a hospital, some of the booths and activities include educational elements, like the importance of washing your hands and eating healthy. Mostly though, Whitt says it's an excuse to just have fun.

"I think it gives them hope that we provide something for them. We haven't given up. You know, we're still here, we're still doing the everyday thing. It's just a hopeful event."

Laurie Johnson, Houston Public Radio News.

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