Toddler with Leukemia Gets ‘Frozen’ Birthday Party Amid Hurricane Irma
It was a rough week for a family from Florida but fortunately, there was one ray of sunshine. Two days before Hurricane Irma hit, Jennifer Newman’s family learned that their daughter Willow is suffering from leukemia. Then, they learned that because of the impending storm, their home might be affected. The heartbreaking news came two days before Willow’s third birthday.
What made the situation more distressing was the fact that their family was split in half as Newman was staying with Willow at John Hopkins All Children’s Hospital while her husband and other daughter were at home during the storm.
“It was terrifying,” Newman told ABC News. “It was like my heart being ripped in two trying to process my baby having cancer and my other baby, afraid that she would be hurt. Thank god it wasn’t what it was supposed to be. My heart goes out to the people in Key West. We are thankful that we didn’t sustain as much damage as predicted.”
To cheer up Willow and her mother, nurses and other hospital staff made sure that the little girl’s birthday would not go unnoticed as they prepared a surprise birthday with a “Frozen” theme.
“They had about 10 to 15 nurses come in and staff sang ‘Happy Birthday’. She had been very sick the first two days she was here and she was laughing and smiling. It was the only bright spot that entire weekend.”
The hospital staff prepared many gifts and a colorful birthday cake. Willow was absolutely delighted.
“When everyone walked in and Willow began opening gifts, the look on her mom’s face was priceless,” a spokeswoman for the hospital said. “They have had some of the worst moments of their life in that past 72 hours, so the fact they were able to take a break from focusing on her diagnosis, brought so much emotion to her family.”
Newman was grateful for the celebration and relieved that, in the end, their home wasn’t affected by the hurricane. Now they can finally focus on helping Willow recover from leukemia.
“There is no doubt in my mind that she will beat this,” Newman said.
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