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Children's Hospital holds 'prom' for young patients

| Wednesday, May 28, 2014, 11:24 p.m.
Jasmine Goldband | Tribune-Review
Mia Vok, 16 of Shaler pushes her best friend Justin Stewart, 15 of Shaler onto the dance floor at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC during the hospital's annual patient and family prom Wednesday, May 28, 2014. Vok came to the hospital to spend time with her friend at the event.
Jasmine Goldband | Tribune-Review
Rhiannon Kline, 12 of Carrolltown, Cambria County dances with her sister Lexee Kline, 17 at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC annual patient and family prom Wednesday, May 28, 2014.
Jasmine Goldband | Tribune-Review
Hannah Fileger, 13 of Jeanette dances with Jeremiah Kreuzberger, 12 at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC annual patient and family prom Wednesday, May 28, 2014. Kreuzberger came to the hospital to spend time with his girlfriend at the event.

Wednesday night was an opportunity to celebrate life at Children's Hospital in Lawrenceville.

About 40 patients and their families attended the hospital's fifth annual “prom,” some decked out in clothes and accessories ranging from floor-length dresses to sparkly purple hats.

“They get to know the hospital isn't always serious,” said Helen Berry, 43, of Chicora in Butler County. “They can just enjoy themselves.”

Berry went with her daughter Sarah, 6, who has been in and out of the hospital because of leukemia.

Chelsea Acock, who helps organize events for kids at the hospital, said the prom helps parents connect with other parents and kids connect with other kids who may be going through similar problems.

“We just want to make it as normal as possible,” she said.

The hospital worked with different companies to offer prom-goers items including makeup, hair styling, dresses and tuxedos, said Ashley Van Alen, a special events coordinator at Children's.

Van Alen said the kids look forward to having fun, recalling a patient who started crying because she looked beautiful.

“It's all worth it,” she said.

Megan Henney is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7987 or mhenney@tribweb.com.

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