Game On! St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital Hosts Arcade-Themed Prom

March 06, 2023
Young girl and boy dressed in party attire are having fun on the dance floor during St. Joseph's Children's Hospital prom. Hospital staff are dancing with the children and all are smiling and having fun.
A young patient and her brother join Child Life Specialists on the dance floor during from St. Joseph's Children's Hospital's prom night.

St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital leveled up the fun for patients and their families during its '80s arcade-themed prom, held in partnership with the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation. The hospital hosts prom each year for patients who are unable to attend their school’s traditional dance due to hospitalization, or who, due to chronic or life-threatening conditions, may never get the opportunity. 

The totally awesome night of fun was held in the hospital’s Medical Arts Building on Friday, March 3, and featured arcade games, a magician, dinner, prom swag bags and lots of dancing.  

A group of pediatric patients of all ages and their families pose on dance floor with staff from St. Joseph's Children's Hospital during prom night at the hospital.
Pediatric patients and their families join St. Joseph's Children's Hospital staff on the dance floor for a group photo during the hospital's prom.

The hospital’s Child Life team, with support from the St. Joseph's Children's Hospital Foundation, organizes special events like the prom in an effort to provide patients with experiences that they might not otherwise have due to treatment and hospitalization.

“We love hosting these milestone events for our patients,” said St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital Certified Child Life Specialist Karlyn Crawford. “It’s so special to see kids just being kids, and it’s so important to provide opportunities for them to forget about their illness or injury for a few hours.”  

Nora Gunn, vice president of St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital’s Foundation adds, “We’re proud to partner with the Dunkin’ Joy in Childhood Foundation to bring this special prom experience to our pediatric patients.”

St. Joseph's Children's Hospital patient Dylan is  8 years old and raises hand in the air on the dance floor next to her sister Sadie. Both girls are wearing purple dresses. They are having fun at the hospital's prom.
St. Joseph's Children's Hospital patient Dylan, age 8, with her bonus sister Sadie, age 11, during St. Joseph's Children's Hospital's prom night.

For 8-year-old Dylan Bartini, the event brought a much-needed break from her long hospital stay. Dylan was diagnosed in November with acute myeloid leukemia and has spent the last four weeks in her hospital room at SJCH undergoing her third round of chemotherapy. She spent most of the evening on the dance floor with her sister by her side.

“I really don’t dance that much, but I wanted to be with my sister because she loves to dance,” said Dylan. “We had so much fun!”

Watch our video recap of the celebration here.

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