Dressed as Super Mario, 4-year-old Brody enjoys the annual Spirit Halloween party.
A Happy Memory
Staying in the hospital is tough for 4-year-old Brody. Diagnosed with lymphoma in August, he started chemotherapy in September and has been in and out of UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland ever since.
But during his most recent stay, he made one particularly happy memory: the annual Spirit Halloween party.
“Brody was the first kid in there,” says his mother Vanessa. “It lightened the mood for him. It was at the beginning of a long stay, so it helped boost his morale.”
Dressed as Super Mario, Brody partied with the volunteers, decorated a pumpkin with glitter and rhinestones, and chatted with other patients.
“They had a ton of different costumes that Spirit had donated, which was really cool for the kids,” Vanessa says.
Several days later, Brody was able to return home, taking his pumpkin and a mask he made for his sister.
“We don’t love being here, of course, but we love the people and all the special things they do for the kids,” Vanessa says. “It feels like a little community.”
The Spirit of Children fundraising campaign raises funds for Child Life programming at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. Since 2007, Spirit Halloween associates have raised over $1 million dollars to support Child Life Programs like art therapy, music therapy and pet therapy. Spirit Halloween also donates hundreds of Halloween costumes to our inpatient population each year to ensure kids still get to celebrate this important holiday even within the hospital setting.