Teen cancer patients connect at annual Girls’ Day Out

Girls Day Out

A day of R&R was just what the doctor ordered this week for teen patients undergoing treatment at the Bass Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases.

As part of the 9th annual Girls’ Day Out, girls ages 13 to 18 were picked up at the hospital on Wednesday morning in a hot pink limousine and taken to the Fairmont San Jose for a day of fun and bonding. For some of the teens, it was a chance to reconnect.

“Some of us spent time together at the last Girls’ Day Out. It’s nice to relax and be around girls who all know what we’ve gone through,” said 13-year-old patient Naya. “Many of my friends have no idea what it’s like, but these girls can relate.”

For others, it was one of the first times they got to be around other cancer patients their age.

“Being in the limo was so cool. It was really comfortable — we were able to talk about everything,” said 13-year-old Elena. “Everybody is open because everybody knows what it’s like to go through cancer treatment.”

The Fairmont reserved and decorated a hotel suite for the girls, and it served as home base for a painting party, where each girl was given a canvas to paint a scene of her choice. Artists from Young Art were on hand to give guidance as the girls painted a variety of subjects, including horses, unicorns, Wonder Woman, Darth Vader and the house from the movie Up. Jewelry designer Kendra Scott hosted a jewelry-making station where the girls spent time creating their own earrings, necklaces and bracelets.

The afternoon ended with a gourmet lunch in the hotel, and the girls received goodie bags with beauty supplies from Peninsula Beauty and cozy blankets from Vera Bradley. But the conversations and friendships were the best part of the day.

“It’s a nice break to get away and take care of yourself,” said 15-year-old Chloe. ”And it’s nice to talk to the other girls. Sometimes you feel alone, but you’re not because there are others going through the same thing.”

“We look forward to this event every year as a chance for the girls to relax and do something fun together,” said Devon Artusio, a Child Life specialist who leads the event. “They’re able to relate to one another about what they are going through, and the whole experience brings a sense of ‘normalcy’ to their lives amidst treatment.”


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