M.D. Anderson Christmas Choir

Children in the pediatric unit of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center were treated to a holiday party today, complete with a Christmas choir. Houston Public Radio's Laurie Johnson has more.

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About a dozen kids, doctors and nurses formed the choir of the Children's Cancer Hospital at M.D. Anderson. The caroling tradition began last year, when then 17-year-old Charley Ford was undergoing treatment for lymphoma. Ford says one of his doctors found out he plays tuba and asked him to help coordinate a holiday party for the younger kids.

"They need to have this. It really helps keep their spirits up and it helps them keep fighting the battle that they've been fighting for so long. I kind of feel like a big brother, you know, just looking over a bunch of my little brothers and sisters. It makes me happy, you know, you can't get anything out of it but joy."

The party was such a success last year, they decided to try it again this year and make it even bigger. A playroom in the hospital has been transformed into a winter wonderland. And the kids are the stars of the show. Music Therapist Michael Richardson says these kids don't get many chances to perform.

"I think the kids enjoyed it pretty well. You saw the smiles on their faces and a lot of laughter and so -- you saw some of them hamming it up there. I wasn't expecting that, which was great! That's what I wanted."

Speaking of hamming it up, the break-out performance was by Mohammed, who never said a word or sung a note, but danced his way through Jingle Bells to the delight of the entire audience. Laurie Johnson, Houston Public Radio News.

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