For families with seriously ill children, date night likely falls low on the priority list. Recognizing that, MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital partnered with the brand-new Westin Houston Medical Center and the Sunshine Kids Foundation to treat parents and caregivers of pediatric patients to a romantic night out.
Dubbed "The Month of Love: Parents Night Out," the Feb 1 event included an evening of dancing (with music from Divisi Strings) and dining (a three-course meal courtesy of The Westin) for parents while longtime MD Anderson collaborator Sunshine Kids Foundation hosted a separate party for patients and their siblings in an adjacent ballroom.
While parents enjoyed an intimate meal and Valentine-themed treats on tables decked with rose petals, their kids made pizzas and Valentine's crafts, played games, got their faces painted, decorated cookies from SusieCakes, and had a dance-off with live DJ music, and everyone received their own Build-a-Bear, courtesy of Sunshine Kids.
The Westin also treated parents to an interactive "Wellness Refresh Station" with customizable essential oil blends for energy, relaxation, and calm.
The event is one of many planned by MD Anderson's Pediatric Support Programs team for childhood cancer patients and their families, meant to inspire relationships through shared experiences and to strengthen the family bond away from the hospital.