Superheroes, SpongeBob, and Dinosaurs Take to Stanford Children’s Trick-or-Treat Trail

Something wicked(ly fun) this way comes…

For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the annual Trick-or-Treat Trail returns to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford for Halloween.

From giant inflatable pumpkins to balloons, Stanford Medicine Children’s Health caregivers transformed the Dawes Garden into an interactive Halloweentown to bring patients and their families a spook-tacular celebration. In accordance with safety protocols and visitor guidelines, caregivers passed out toys and treats at more than 20 trick-or-treat booths – each with a different theme from Addams Family to Encanto to Toy Story to infection prevention.

Three-year-old Lincoln was so excited he’s been dressed as Spiderman since Thursday. He’s currently being treated for neuroblastoma. His mom, Whitney Schlenker, says having an event like this means so much to him since he’s unable to join his siblings to go trick or treating this year.

“It makes me feel emotional because I know that things are going to be different and a lot has changed for us, so it’s nice that he’s able to do things like a normal kid would do if he’s not at a hospital,” she says.

Child Life specialists also delivered over 200 Halloween goodie bags filled with toys, coloring books, and snacks to patient rooms for those who could not physically attend the event.

“It’s medicine for the heart and the soul,” says Jesus Cepero, PhD, RN, Chief Nursing Officer at Stanford Medicine Children’s Health, who was dressed as a hand to remind people to wash their hands during flu and RSV season. “This is so rewarding not only for the patients and families, but also for all our staff. This is an event that uplifts all of us to do the work we have to do every day. The patients are smiling even though they may not be feeling well. It’s been so nice to do this again after the pandemic.”


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