MD Anderson hosts 4th Annual Prom Party Palooza

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- For the past four years, MD Anderson Children's Cancer Hospital has hosted a prom for teenagers going through cancer treatment, and for former patients, now in remission.

This was the biggest crowd to date. In an event space at the hospital, with skyline views of the medical center, kids between the ages of 13 and 18, danced to music provided by a DJ. This year's theme was drawn from "The Greatest Showman" movie, and featured performers on stilts and acrobats.

"Sometimes medicine is spelled 'fun,' said Lisa Hofmeister, division administrator of the Children's Cancer Hospital.

As the prom went on upstairs, the kids' families were treated to a party downstairs, with dinner. Younger siblings had a children's party of their own.

Prom gowns, tuxedos, and makeovers were provided for the event. Fourteen-year-old Jessica Taylor, who was diagnosed with bone cancer 4 years ago, and in remission now, selected a stunning black beaded formal from the rack.

"It makes me feel normal. Like I didn't have cancer, and I don't have a prosthetic, and that I can be a normal teenager," she said.

Mario Quezeda is in remission from leukemia, and went to his high school prom Friday night. He returned for this year's prom at MDA on Saturday. "I think this one's more special," he said. "It creates new, good memories for them."

Sponsors and volunteers help make the prom possible, and more people are participating in the event.
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