You may think it seems a little early to be thinking about the holidays, but Diana Garcia is already fully involved in planning for them. Diana, a former cancer patient at Children’s, is now an intern in the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, giving back to the organization that helped her through her illness.
When Diana was 11, she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and underwent almost three years of treatment at Children’s. She is now cancer free, a patient in the After the Cancer Experience Program at Children’s and a senior at Southern Methodist University.
One of the things that helped Diana and her family get through her long period of treatment was the annual holiday party for childhood cancer patients at Children’s, so this year, as her main internship project, she’s organizing the party — no small task. The party normally attracts upwards of 600 people. Still, Diana and her family went to the party for several years, so she’s got a very good feeling for what an event like this entails.
When I talked to Diana, she told me there’s a reason she’s back at Children’s. She said as bad as her treatment was, the people here made it easier. She wants to do the same for other people, and planning the holiday party is one way she can give back.
The party, to be held Monday, Dec. 14, at Brookhaven Country Club, is one of those big happy affairs because it is one of the few places where children with compromised immune systems from their cancer treatments can get together in a crowd and celebrate the joys of the season. This year Diana will make sure it’s a whiz-bang, with costumed characters, presents, food and activities such as cookie decorating and face painting. It’s exactly what a children’s party should be.
If you’d like to volunteer to donate a toy or two, you can contact Diana at 214-456-8060.