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Sick Children Get Special Holiday Boost

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RALEIGH — For children who are dealing with a life-threatening illness such as cancer, the holidays can offer a glittery respite.

Sunday, for a few moments, pediatric cancer patients left the confines of their hospital rooms for a holiday celebration and Santa made his rounds early for this very special group of children.

Every year Embassy Suites hosts a party for children with cancer.

Santa's helpers are from Girl Scout Troop 1258.

Tracey Fuller said she and her troop were on hand to help out the children and make them happy.

Six-year-old Deren Bridenstine recently had a cancerous tumor removed from his brain. His Christmas gift this year is the gift of life. But the child in him wants more, and his wish list is specific -- Pokemon!

Joan Jones said the goal was to help the children who, along with their families, are going through a rough time.

Many smiles came after sitting on Santa's lap. The children received a green certificate that served as the key to Toyland, where the children picked out their gifts.

Parents and other relatives are very happy to spend another Christmas with their very special children.

Gamze Bridenstine said everyone did a great job on the festive day, and thanked everyone for their time and help.

Embassy Suites published and sold a cookbook this year to help fund the lavish event, now in its 11th year.

The kids are patients at Duke University and UNC Medical Centers.

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Barbara Cain, Reporter
Lynn French, Photographer
Kay Miller, Web Editor

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