Girls Day Out: Beauty and bravery at the Fairmont

On the last day of July, a hot pink Hummer limousine pulled up to the iconic Fairmont hotel in San Jose. The doors opened; out came six bright-eyed and hopeful teenaged girls. These girls are all being treated for pediatric cancer at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, but today they arrived together to experience the tenth annual Girls Day Out, a brief but much needed escape for body, mind and spirit.

Gilrs with pink limousine

Some of the girls had traveled from two to four hours away, rising as early as 2 a.m. to join the group. Packard Children’s annual Girls Day Out treats patients of the Bass Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Diseases with an unordinary remedy. Instead of stem cell transplants or chemo, the girls enjoyed a day of blissful, calming therapies and time with peers who know what they are going through as patients.

The first stop on the Fairmont tour was the TOVA Day Spa. As the girls slipped into their seats for hair and makeup, manicures and pedicures, massages and facials, hesitation gave way to smiles, chatter and then laughter. The girls soaked up the luxury and serenity, talking among themselves.

“Getting a facial was really relaxing,” said Aditree, age 13, who is planning a trip next summer to visit family in Bangladesh once her medical treatment has finished.


“Should I close my eyes so you can see my makeup better?” asked 18-year-old Gladis.

Each ran off a list of the beauty treatments they had received. Posing for pictures, they leaned in close to capture the moment with newfound friends.

Spa owner Tova Yaron surveyed the unfolding scene with approval and appreciation. For the past nine years, Tova has supported Girls Day Out, hosting the group’s spa services and treatments. With additional support from the Children Having Exceptional Educational and Recreation Support (CHEERS) that is part of the 19 for Life Foundation, she and her staff donate their time and expertise to create a relaxing and rejuvenating atmosphere for the girls, distinct from their daily realities.

“What we do is nothing compared to what they go through,” said Yaron. “These girls are beautiful and brave.”

After the spa it was off to the International Suite on the Fairmont’s twentieth floor, with its sweeping city views. Child Life Specialists Jennifer Faraone and Alyssa Pettingill shepherded the girls into the elegantly decorated rooms, where a round table with white linen and large pink blossoms beckoned them for lunch.

Girls opening gifts

Throughout the day the girls built friendships, observed Faraone. “They shared how special the day was to them and chatted about the ways they are coping with treatment, their favorite music performers and summer plans. It’s great to see all of them away from the hospital in a normal environment, getting to know other girls who have been through experiences similar to their own.”

Girls at color bar

After lunch the girls ventured in pairs over to the Kendra Scott Color Bar, where Samantha Robinson and Karin Naragon, decked out in cheerful yellow scarves, helped each girl create two custom jewelry pieces with colorful stones. This is the second year that Kendra Scott has partnered with Packard Children’s to bring inspiration to young patients both in treatment and outside the hospital.

“Today is special and fulfilling,” said Karin. “It’s nice to know it’s an experience the girls will cherish and remember – and they have a piece of jewelry to remind them of the day.”


As Girls Day Out was wrapping up, the girls opened festive gift bags from the Fairmont, TOVA Day Spa and Kendra Scott, revealing more beauty items, chocolate bars and treats. The music was turned up, while some of the girls danced to the beat. Girls Day Out was a sheer success.

“I loved it,” said Maria, a 13-year-old from San Mateo. “My favorite part was everything.”

Stepping into the elevator, the girls noticed something was missing: “Can we take the balloons with us?”

Girls with balloons

They were soon en route to their limo for the ride back to Packard Children’s, balloons in hand and spirits high under the blue San Jose sky. Then the girls disappeared into their hot pink limo and glided away.

Thank you to the event sponsors including the Fairmont San Jose, TOVA Day Spa, Kendra Scott, El Paseo Limousine and all those who made Girls Day Out such a special event.

Visit the photo gallery to see more pictures of Girls Day Out.

Girls Day Out - 2018


One Response to “Girls Day Out: Beauty and bravery at the Fairmont”

  1. April Lofgren

    It is always so wonderful to read the ways the community supports Packard patients. I am so glad these young woman were able to have such a wonderful day full of spa treatments, rather than the chemo treatments they often go through. Thank you so much to TOVA, Kendra Scott, the Fairmont, El Paseo Limos, the Child-Life staff, and everyone else who helps make these moments so memorable. Much love to all! <3 <3 <3

    Now where are my tissues? Lol.


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