POSTED: Monday, September 3, 2012 - 9:37pm
UPDATED: Monday, September 3, 2012 - 10:39pm
El Paso — Some young kids Monday got to experience what it's like to have cancer. They were admitted to El Paso's Providence Children's Hospital as mock patients. After being taped to IV pole, they were put in a hospital gown. They then got an in-depth tour of the hospital, and also learned about clinical procedures for cancer patients, so they might have a better understanding of what their sibling with cancer has to go through.
The event was geared toward kids ages 7 to 15. It was a chance to experience just a bit of what their siblings with cancer have to endure, from a crash course on bone marrow, to the ins and outs of a spinal tap.
"We create the awareness because their perception about cancer might be it's so cool. I don't go to school. They watch TV all day. If they don't like the food, someone brings them something they like," said Ana Aburto, a Child Life Specialist at the hospital.
Aburto also says healthy siblings can sometimes be neglected with a child has cancer. "Siblings suffer a lot. They are the silent sufferers in this crisis," says Aburto.
Daniel Llanez's seven year old sister has cancer. After attending the sibling day event, he now has a new appreciation for all his little sister has to go through. "I think she has it very, very hard. I couldn't do anything my sister does," he said.
Hospital officials say that's what the event is all about. It's a chance for kids to talk about cancer and to and experience what it's like to be a patient so that they can be a better sibling. After learning about cancer and everything that happens at the hospital, the kids also got a chance to share their feelings and to talk about what it's like having a sibling with cancer. Each child was also given a pair of suspenders to symbolize all that it takes to hold up or support someone trying to cope with cancer.