There were princesses, superheroes, dragons and knights at the 16th Annual Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center’s Halloween Party, the much-anticipated event where families and children with T1D come to swap candy for toys.
Elsa, the star of the movie Frozen, mingled with the group—and there was also face painting, arts and crafts, a photo booth, pizza and cookies served, wand-making and a sensory station where children touched eyeballs (grapes) and brains (spaghetti). An art therapist was on hand to help the children create a haunted house out of medical supplies, and a music therapist led the group in Halloween song and dance.
Said Kimberly Adams, mom of Nathaniel, 9, “It’s a great event for kids with diabetes because it takes the focus off of candy and puts it on fun and celebration. I love that kids are surrounded by other people who have the same condition. It’s comforting.”
This year, the party was organized by staff including Kelli Ferguson, the new Child Life Specialist at the Berrie Center, whose job it is to help kids better understand their medical condition and to foster their self-expression and creativity. “It was a lot of hard work to plan a Halloween party for the kids because I wanted to create a meaningful experience, but it was also a great deal of fun."
Over the years, The Berrie Center’s Halloween Party has become a model for similar programs throughout the country for children with diabetes. It is made possible each year by the generosity of Berrie Center supporters.