Fighting Cancer One Smile at a Time

Cancer is a tough battle all on its own, but nothing compares to watching an innocent child suffer the battle and fight for their life.

It's their stories of strength and encouragement that family and friends carry with them and today these little fighters spent a day, getting to just be kids.

Over sixty pediatric oncology patients from Texas Tech University Health Science Center were able to enjoy the hot summer day, and more importantly, just enjoy being kids.

Guests enjoyed a free lunch and free rides throughout the afternoon at Amarilloâ??s Wonderland Park.

Texas Tech University Health Science Center teamed up with Panhandle Angels, Outdoor Adventure Foundation, and Circle of Friends to provide pediatric cancer patients an all access pass to the park.

TTUHSC Dr. Riguira says, "This is the one opportunity the children have to be children and they don't think about anything else, just have fun. There are kids that have had a situation that most of us would not like to have, but have made it and are doing well and are able to have fun just like any kid."

Sunday, these children were no longer patients having to worry about the next step in their treatments, but happy, carefree children, having a blast.

With such a beautiful summer day, surrounded by friends and family, a smile was on every child's face.

Patient, Carla Contrereas spent time enjoying every ride at the park with her family and friends. She says their support means a lot.

Carla says, "It's kinda fun to always be around them and they are really special to me when they're around me because they make me feel good."

Her friends would agree Carla is one amazing young lady.

Carlaâ??s Friend, Mona Hernandez says, "She just smiles all the time, she's a trooper and she's never been sad. She's real happy all the time."

It was not only the children that were thankful for a day in the park, but parents. Many agreeing, that having a day were so many children, fighting the same disease, can get together is a blessing, and it creates a family where everyone supports each other.

A patientâ??s mother, Angie Rock says that the event is so special and means a lot to her whole family.

She says, "The fact that they have put something on that we can bring our little one and be surrounded by basically our second family is so touching. They are so kind and caring and they have been there every step of the way."

She says that includes not only their doctors and nurse, but all of the families that they have met along the way.

Those at the park say the day is a blessing and being able to see the smiles and hear the laughter is a great reminder to appreciate what we have been given.