CHOP holds Beyond Cancer Family Reunion

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- There were plenty of smiles as Children's Hospital of Philadelphia held their annual Beyond Cancer Family Reunion on Sunday.

One-hundred-plus child cancer survivors and their families joined the CHOP medical team to celebrate successful battles against the disease.

The event is a chance for the children who've battled cancer and their families to reunite with those at the hospital who've helped them.

But the celebration is a little more than just a reunion. The kids get a chance to be kids with bounce houses, games, and all sorts of entertainment.

There were also therapy dogs that were quite popular.

While the good times were had, several families wanted to share their stories of success, including the Ku family from Bensalem, Bucks County. Their daughter Samantha was diagnosed with leukemia in the 10th grade.

Samantha is now heading to college.

"I'm studying to become a doctor. A pediatric oncologist," Samantha told Action News.

"One thing unnoticed about this hospital that's different, they don't just treat the patient, they treat the whole family," Samantha's father Bill said.

The Joco family said son Kaleo was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia when he was 1-year-old.

His mom Jen says it was a total family and team effort at CHOP to save her son. That included a bone marrow transplant from his older sister Scarlett.

"I gave Kaleo my magic cells," young Scarlett said.

"One of the things I think was so phenomenal about this group, from the researcher to the doctor to the nurse to every single therapist and staff member we worked with, they treated our kids like they would their own," Jen Joco said.

It was a fun event for a lot of brave children and their families.
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