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The 'Beach Ball' Prom: An Evening to Remember

Hospital Makes It a Special Night for Teens With Cancer

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Delaware

The auditorium in the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children’s administration building (the original hospital) was magically transformed into the colorful, festive setting for last weekend’s "Beach Ball," a special prom for teens with cancer or in recovery. The prom was presented by the hospital’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.

Because many teen patients are unable to attend their own high school proms, hospital physicians suggested an event where patients, siblings and guests (ages 13 to 18 years) could experience all the fun and glamour of a prom surrounded by others who understand what they’ve been through, as well as get medical support if needed. A committee, led by Barb Plummer, cancer care coordinator, dove into the project with enthusiasm. All their efforts paid off Saturday, April 21, as more than 60 current and former patients and their guests arrived in style and proceeded to have a wonderful time.

The Patients

Cesar, who has endured two bone marrow transplants and had been in and out of a coma for a few days, rallied on Saturday, texted a girlfriend, and met her at the prom. They danced all night before staff took him back to his room to continue
with treatment.

Miranda, who is undergoing inpatient chemotherapy, got dressed in her hospital room and traveled by limo through the parking lot to the prom entrance. Upon arrival, she sang a beautiful solo and then tore up the dance floor.

Brian, who was treated at Nemours for several years before “aging out” of the program said, “How could I not come? These people have been family to me.”

“From the time this idea was suggested, there has been an outpouring of support from the community,” said Barb Plummer. “We’ve been showered with offers of food, gowns, tuxedos, shoes, decorations, gifts, you name it. People really wanted to make this a special and memorable evening and give our patients the opportunity to experience the same fun that all teenagers have at a prom.” 

Our Contributors

Donations came in from businesses near and far. Men’s Wearhouse not only provided tuxedos, lighting, props, a photo booth, and a red carpet, but also supplied the evening’s engaging DJ who flew in from California at the company’s expense.

David Akers, of the San Francisco 49ers and former player for the Philadelphia Eagles, made a special appearance, delighting many female dance partners. The evening ended with Akers and the teens holding hands in a circle and high-kicking, Rockette-style, to “New York, New York.” Every prom-goer left with gifts, photos, and beautiful memories.

Dr. Andy Kolb, Director of the Nemours Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, appropriately attired in a tux and a permanent smile, remarked, “This prom was a huge success! We had a tremendous team of volunteers and sponsors to make sure the kids had a well-deserved, wonderful time.”

In addition to Barb Plummer, Dr. Kolb recognized, in particular, the efforts of Maureen Karmondy, Barbara Wojtal, Julie Regan, and Leah Williams of Hematology/Oncology and Beth Carlough and Cathy Akins of Child Life. 

Barb Plummer, a 20-year veteran of the hospital, summed it up perfectly (and emotionally), “To see everyone coming together for the kids the way they did — it was spectacular. And the kids themselves, the way they treated each other made me feel like a proud mom. At the end of the night I was exhausted and not looking forward to clean-up. Just then a group of Associates’ spouses, staff from the Delaware Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and a crew from the ED [Emergency Department], and Transport materialized. They cleaned the whole place up and I got to sit down and reflect. This is what Nemours is all about.”

 
Photos

A Prom to Remember

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Contributors

Special Acknowledgements

We extend a heartfelt thank you to the people, businesses, schools, and organizations that responded with enthusiasm to support the "Beach Ball" Prom, our patients, and their families. You truly helped to make this a special and memorable evening, and gave our patients the opportunity to experience the same fun that all teenagers have at a prom.


Additional Contributors

Event Products & Services
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Domino’s
  • Maggie Moo’s
  • Wilmington Home Amusement
  • AC Moore
  • Angie Gray
  • David’s Bridal
  • Funtastix
  • Gretchen Johnson
  • Vera LaMarche
  • Memories Creations by Barb
  • Candy For All Occasions
  • Walgreens

Gift & Prize Donations
  • The Berman Family
  • Christiana Care Health
  • System TSU Quality Committee
  • Beth Cooper
  • Carla Townes
  • Laura Garver
  • A Day for Danny
  • American Business Solutions

Clothing, Jewelry & Decoration Donations
  • Delaware County
    Community College
  • Beth Cooper
  • Bridget Cunningham
  • Fantasia Bridal
  • Gabi Stornio
  • Holly Wojcik
  • Jane Crowley
  • Kathleen Snyder
  • Kim Sharpel
  • Kelly Regan
  • Kristen Krug
  • Lindsey Mulvena
  • Liz Simpson
  • Jillian Goltz
  • Stefanie Karmondy
  • Ashley Locasale
  • Loren Jennings
  • Meg Hartman
  • Men’s Wearhouse
  • Moira McFarlain
  • Seana Dillon
  • Salesianum High School
  • Sierra Wagner
  • Susan Bracher
  • Stacie Taylor
  • Sherry Monahan
  • Students of Oxford
    Area High School
  • Tower Hill School

About Nemours

Nemours is an internationally recognized children's health system that owns and operates the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., and Nemours Children's Hospital in Orlando, along with major pediatric specialty clinics in Delaware, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Established as The Nemours Foundation through the legacy and philanthropy of Alfred I. duPont, Nemours offers pediatric clinical care, research, education, advocacy and prevention programs to all families in the communities it serves.