FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The American team may have done very well scoring some gold at the Olympics in Rio on Thursday. But some other Americans right here in South Florida also know what it’s like to give all they have and go for the big win.
As a bugle playing the Star Spangled the first ever pediatrics Olympics got underway at Broward Health Medical Center in Ft. Lauderdale on Friday. Young cancer patients celebrated the Rio Olympics by playing games and winning trophies.
Pediatric patients competed in teams along with medical staff in several different events.
The Child Life team at the hospital came up with the games as a way to take the kids’ minds off treatments and procedures. Games included balloon volleyball, bean bag toss and hopscotch.
“I think sometimes it can be really hard to be in the hospital. So anything that we can do to normalize the environment we love to do that and spend time with our patients,” said child life specialist Caitlin Harrison.
Last February, doctors removed a tumor from 8-year-old Kaelin Hernandez’s brain. She’s come a long way in a short time and is in remission, according to her old sister Miriam.
“They opened her up and pulled the tumor out and then they started chemo. When I saw her, she still had blood and she had two tubes. So I actually started crying,” said Hernandez. “Now she’s good. When she like, every time she comes to the hospital she gets nervous, she’s scared. Because things happen and she doesn’t want to come back.”
During the day’s games, the teams scored points for wins. At the end of games, the scores were tallied and the winning teams received medals and trophies. Everyone, however, got the ultimate award – ice cream.