Karin Alleman usually hosts a Halloween party at her home in Savannah. This year, Alleman and her 7-year-old son Braden Alleman were treated to an early Halloween party at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston.
Dozens of children, all patients at Egleston, took part in the annual party Friday, Oct. 23, put on by Spirit Halloween stores.
Braden, diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, has been at the hospital for four weeks awaiting a bone marrow transplant. While there, he had to undergo his fourth round of chemotherapy and still awaits the transplant.
Braden was in good spirits at the party and wore a white Power Rangers costume.
“We always have a Halloween party at our house and as soon as he walked through the door here he said ‘this replaces our party.’ I feel so grateful that they put this on for the children,” Karin Alleman said. “We were very excited to hear about this. The hospital offers so much for the kids to do. They don’t feel like they’re secluded from the outside world.”
Spirit employees along with Egleston staff helped the children choose costumes, play games and get their faces painted.
The event was a nice way for Kayla Starr, 8, and her father, Cliff Pickman of Gordon to end their stay at Egleston. Kayla had open heart surgery on Tuesday, Oct. 20, to repair two holes in her heart. She was scheduled to return home Saturday.
Kayla picked out a witch costume, complete with a purple wig.
“I’m a firefighter so I see this every day, but when it happens to your kid it really makes you think,” Pickman said. “I’m thankful for everything the hospital has done.”
Seven-year-old Elizabeth Wesley also enjoyed the event. Elizabeth was diagnosed in July with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.
“She’s excited about the party, said Kayla’s mother, Melissa Wesley. “The first thing she did was get the schedule of activity and let the nurse know she had to be here at 3.”