The Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center’s pediatric team wore skeleton shirts with neon pancreases! The children had on neon bracelets and carried glow sticks. There were black lights and bright lights for decoration and Looney Lenny the clown for entertainment. November 1 (the beginning of National Diabetes Month) was the Berrie Center’s annual Halloween Party—a highly anticipated celebration held the day after Halloween where families and children with type 1 diabetes (T1D) come to swap candy for toys.
Started 18 years ago as a tool to teach kids with diabetes and families that you can have fun on Halloween—the program has become a model for similar parties around the country for children with T1D. This year, in addition to the toy exchange, there was face painting, music making with a music therapist and art with an art therapist. Food fare included pizza, oreos and veggies. At the end of the night, the candy collected was brought upstairs as a treat for the hard-working research scientists.
The Halloween party is usually as big a hit for the parents as it is for the kids. “The party lifted his spirits higher than they have been since diagnosis! For that, I am forever grateful,” said Tania Makris, mother of 3-year-old Georgie. “The thought of our first type 1 diabetes Halloween was quite daunting. Naomi Berrie not only made it fun and stress-free, but it actually provided my child an extraordinary opportunity: to feel normal and carefree on a holiday, which could have otherwise been quite alienating. This is a great analogy for the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center. It provides a safe harbor in the life-altering storm that is type 1 diabetes.”
The annual Halloween Party is made possible through the generosity of our supporters. To make a gift towards our pediatric program please visit http://www.nbdiabetes.org/support-center.