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Pediatric patients celebrate Halloween at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital

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DERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Halloween came a bit early for some children at Penn State Hershey's Children's Hospital thanks to the Spirit of Children program

The program hosted a party for pediatric patients and their families complete with games, crafts, and costumes. Spirit of Children's focus is making hospitals just a little less scary for patients like 13-year-old Hope Maldonado who has come to the facility for the last two years as she battles a bone cancer.

"Coming here makes it a little bit easier," Hope said, "because knowing that costumes originally are really expensive but then coming here you've got costumes.  And it may not be what you want, but they're cool costumes and they're going to pop out when you go trick-or-treating."

Her father, Rob Maldonado, says events like this one help their family in more ways than one.

"It makes you happy," Maldonado said,  "because there's a lot of times we don't get to go out and do the stuff we want to do being here. It's almost relating to the outside. They do excellent with that, we couldn't ask for more. It makes my day, it makes my day just to see her smile."

The Spirit of Children program has raised more than $231,000 for Penn State Hershey's Children's Hospital. The program also works with several hospital in the state and across the country.