2009 Archives

Halloween carnival gives kids, parents a break from medical treatments

November 1, 2009

By KATHERINE LEAL UNMUTH
The Dallas Morning News

Watching brothers Zion, 6, and Urion, 8, race about gathering Halloween treats, it's hard to imagine they suffer from a major illness.

But both boys have had two strokes apiece due to sickle cell anemia, and they receive blood transfusions monthly.

"People don't know what goes on behind closed doors," said their mother, Teresa Phillips. "It's tough."

A number of children with serious illnesses took a break from their treatments Saturday to play at a Halloween carnival, where they enjoyed games, face painting, a massage chair and candy.

The event was sponsored by Starlight Children's Foundation Texas and Southern Methodist University's Office of Leadership and Community Development. It was held at SMU's student center.

The foundation sponsors outings throughout the year for about 380 children in the Dallas area. Phillips said the events allow her sons to know "the world is not just about them being different."

"The families get to come and have a relaxing time and be away from hospitals and doctors' offices," said Dana Cozby, Starlight program manager. "It's an opportunity to come and not be the only child in the wheelchair or with an oxygen tank."

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