Christmas Party for Kids Surviving Cancer

By Rachel Martin

December 2, 2012 Updated Dec 2, 2012 at 8:34 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) – Students at North Side High School celebrated children who are cancer survivors with their families, by throwing an early Christmas party.

It's a celebration of survival in the spirit of the season.

"The Holiday season, some people call it the season for miracles. Battling cancer is such a miracle, making it through that, it's just an awesome way to tie it together and celebrate everything at one time,” said North Side Senior Jordyn Rigler, who also coordinated the event.

Families got together for face painting, pizza and a little entertainment from North Side’s show choir, dance team and jazz band. For Nina Collins and her family, the party’s really about the fellowship.

"It's just really an amazing, wonderful show of community. To be able to network with other families who have also been through some of the same things that we have, it's really heartwarming,” said Collins.

Collins' son Dylan was diagnosed with liver cancer as a baby and spent a lot of time at Riley Children's Hospital. Now, 10-year-old Dylan hasn't needed treatment in five years. Like his mother, his favorite thing about the Christmas party is being around other people.

"I like the fact that you have all this stuff you can look at around, and all the other people.I'm not the only person who had cancer,” said Dylan.

"Words cannot describe coming to an event like this and seeing Riley plates all the way through the entire parking lot,” exclaimed Collins.

North Side students raised money and hand-picked gifts for all the children in each family. Even though the party is all about giving, the students got a little something out of it too.

"Just the excitement on the kids’ faces when they come in, it just warms my heart. Knowing that North Side students can pull together and do something so awesome for the community, that makes it all worth it,” said Rigler.

This year, the students were able to spread holiday cheer to 14 families affected by cancer.

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