Springtime is a time for cleaning, smelling the flowers and for those who are in high school- prom! Prom is one of the most exciting times of a teenager’s life: from picking the perfect dress, color scheme or who you should go with, it is a day that cannot be beat. But it seems that prom is not just for high schoolers anymore! This year marks the 24th annual “Pediatric Prom.”
For almost 25 years now, the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital has hosted the Pediatric Prom. An event where patients get all dressed up, forget all about cancer, and party hard. Dr. Farid Boulad, director of the pediatric department at Sloan-Kettering stated, “These children are going through rough treatments. As you can see, some of them lose their hair, some of them have amputations, but today none of that is seen. They're radiant, there are smiles.”
The day begins with the patients getting all beautified. Promingdale’s donated clothing and accessories for patients of all ages, from the babies to the young adults in their 20’s, there was something for everyone. After getting dressed up, a makeup artist and face painter were both on deck to glam up whoever wanted it. A volunteer organization within the hospital, known as the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering, paid for absolutely everything. Rachel Corke, the event coordinator shared how Pediatric Prom came to be, “It started many moons ago because one patient who was an inpatient wasn’t able to go to their own prom. Part of what we do in pediatrics is insure that your life while you are being treated is as normal as possible.”
At the actual event there was a DJ playing for everyone’s entertainment. There was plenty of food and a photo booth that had thrones to allow these patients to get a day to feel like true royalty. “You definitely feel special on this day. You get special attention, special clothes, all of the little things. It’s a really nice way to be a kid while you’re still in the hospital,” shared Corke. Although these are kids who are fighting for their lives, it is important to remember that they are still kids at heart, and what do kids love more than to have a day of fun? Perhaps the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital’s work will become an example to others to attempt and brighten up a sick person’s day.