Kona and I, along with over a dozen of our therapy dog friends, had the honor of attending the annual Rady Children's Hospital "Celebration of Champions" event.
"This event celebrates the heroic efforts of children with cancer, and of their families and health care professionals.
These Champions - childhood cancer patients - along with sponsors, family members, and celebrities, perform an Olympic-style relay passing the "Torch of Life" from one to another. There are also other activities throughout the day including a Circle of Life honoring those who have passed on. This dynamic and exciting event both provides an enjoyable outing away from the hospital for the children, and symbolizes their remarkable spirit and determination in fighting this life-threatening disease."
We attended last year and enjoyed it so much, that we wanted to be sure to attend again this year. It's hard to describe how it feels to be among these young, beautiful people, many of them currently in the fight for their lives. To see their smiles, and the smiles of their families as they snuggle up to one of the therapy dogs...well, it's pretty overwhelming, and very heartwarming.
It's certainly something that helps put one's life into perspective, and it is simply unforgettable.
I wish I could share more of the over 200 pictures we took, but out of respect for the families, I won't show any faces of the children. I can tell you that the smiles would knock your socks off, and bring tears to your eyes.
Going in for the kiss
Kona and his buddy, Milo.
Check out these awesome therapy dogs!
"Awe, yes, that's the spot!"
Kona was a very happy boy!
"Very nice to meet you Sir."
Larry Himmel is a local celebrity - he's a news and radio personality. He's also a very nice man!
"My, what a tiny girl you are!"
The sign says it all.
Kona was waiting for the action to start.
After about 3 hours of visiting with hundred of people, we were both pretty tuckered out.