Houston/ Health & Lifestyle
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Published on May 22, 2024
Houston's Cancer-Stricken Youth Find Joy at M.D. Anderson's Prom Party PaloozaSource: Wikipedia/Kenneth C. Zirkel, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For some courageous young souls in Houston, the quintessential high school experience of prom night wasn't out of reach thanks to the remarkable efforts of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, which hosted its own prom for pediatric patients, as reported by FOX 26 Houston. Giving them a chance to swap hospital gowns for elegant dresses and sharp tuxedos, the event dubbed Prom Party Palooza was a hit among youngsters like Mateo Rubio, who has been battling leukemia for most of his young life.

Ahead of the Prom Party Palooza, patients like Mateo were pampered and prepped for the big night with wigs, professional beauty services, and a choice of donated outfits provided with support from the local community including businesses such as Men's Warehouse and Kendra Scott, according to a report by KTRK Tomika Gamble, who is at the helm of the center's support programs, expressed how the gratitude from patients and their families makes the effort incredibly rewarding, the kids after having coped with strenuous treatments were ready to hit the dance floor, leave behind the stress for a night of celebration.

The event began with a heartwarming fashion show where the kids showcased their ensembles to cheers from families and friends, setting a triumphant tone for what would become a prom to remember. Later, as the night unfolded, the center's medical staff, who normally stand by these kids through the trials of treatment, swapped their scrubs for dance shoes, joining the fun and adding to the night's exceptional ambiance.

One of the most poignant highlights of the prom was a video featuring Mateo as a toddler during his treatment.