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Sept. 26, 2016 -- Bell ringing ceremony celebrates young patients at the end of cancer treatments

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MOBILE, Ala. -- More than 300 friends, family and medical staff gathered at USA Children's & Women's Hospital on Sept. 21 in honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and to celebrate with 14 young patients as they rang a brass bell to signify the end of their cancer treatment.

Members of the Mobile Police Department's SWAT team and Mobile Fire and Rescue surprised the crowd by rappelling from the roof into the hospital courtyard. As hundreds cheered, the super heroes gave out certificates, silver bells and fist bumps. A quartet of princesses also entertained the children and their families, dancing and posing for photos afterward.

“This ceremony gives us an opportunity to celebrate our patients who have been through so much,” said Kim Thompson-Yates, director of the Mapp Family & Child Life Program at USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital. “It’s so important that we recognize those who have conquered cancer.”

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and Sickle Cell Awareness Month. Patients battling both diseases are treated at USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital, so both occasions are recognized throughout the month by staff and caregivers. On Tuesdays in September, doctors, nurses and other staff will don tutus to wear over their clothes to bring smiles to the faces of those facing illnesses. 

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About Childhood Cancers

Worldwide, a child is diagnosed with cancer every two minutes, research shows. Today, there are more than 350,000 survivors of childhood cancer in the U.S., representing 1 in 570 young adults. According to St. Baldrick’s Foundation, another 16,500 children will be diagnosed with some form of childhood cancer this year in the US.

About Children’s & Women’s Hospital

USA Children’s & Women’s Hospital is the region’s leader in births, with more than 2,800 babies delivered each year. The award-winning USS Hope pediatric cancer and sickle cell treatment center at Children’s & Women’s offers distraction therapy to children who require infusion therapy as part of treatment.

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