Texas Children's Prom For Dialysis Patients

May 4, 2011

Body

I've only been at Texas Children's for a few short weeks, but this past weekend, I had the chance to experience something very special.

For most teenagers, the high school prom is a rite of passage. But for kids who require renal dialysis 3 times a week or who are on home dialysis, the prom may seem like a fantasy that they'll never get to experience. As the new Chief of Renal Services, I was amazed by the level of care and dedication our renal team showed by organizing a prom for our dialysis patients.

Over 100 guests attended the Renal Prom, and we didn't hold out on all the glitz and glamour expected at a high school prom. Every one, particularly the Child Life team, really went the extra mile to make this an amazing evening.

From the moment I walked in, the DJs were playing music and patients were all over the dance floor.

A lot of these teens don't get the chance to experience their own high school proms because of medical conditions, so it was thrilling to see the magic in the room. It was a huge morale boost for all of these young patients.

On their big day, patients were pampered in true prom fashion. They got to pick from over 300 different gowns, suits and tuxes, all donated by the Houston community. Volunteers even helped tailor their outfits to fit them perfectly, and San Jacinto College cosmetology students were on hand to treat the teens to manicures, make-up and hair-do's before all the festivities started.

I found it heartwarming to see all these patients having fun and relating to peers who understand what it's like to experience restrictive medical conditions.

A lot of these teens have to spend at least 20 hours per week at Texas Children's getting kidney treatment. Many miss out on social interactions and school activities that others may take for granted. The Renal Prom is a great way to help them realize that they aren't the only ones fighting this battle.

I may be new to Texas Children's, but after this experience, I can already tell why this place is one of a kind. I'm already looking forward to next year's prom.

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