Students at North Side High School are making the holidays a little brighter for 23 Indiana families. On Sunday, the school put on its annual Christmas Party for Kids Surviving Cancer.
The party started 32 years ago, when students at North Side came together to help out a teacher whose child was diagnosed with cancer. The event celebrates children who have battled cancer and their families and tries to give them a fun and stress-free environment.
“It’s amazing cause the kids can come here and feel like they’re normal, nobody is looking at them weird, nobody is judging anything, they can just be a normal kid for a day,” said Trina Joseph whose 14 year-old son has been battling brain cancer for five years.
Brooklynn Carrizales and her family drove from Kimmell, Ind., to attend the celebration. Her 3 year-old son was diagnosed with leukemia at 19 months old and is now in remission.
“This is our second year here,” said Carrizales. “It’s so magical, so amazing what they do for these kids, and not just for the sick kids, they include the whole family.”
The party included food donated by Casa Grille, holiday music, face painting, dance performances, and a special visit from Santa.
Each year, North Side students and staff work with Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana to put it all together.
The group of volunteers works to raise money throughout the year to host the event. Students then adopt a family and shop for Christmas presents for the children in that family.
This year they gave away gifts to 62 children.