Halloween festivities take center stage at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital

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Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital held its annual “Halloween Trick-or-Treat Trail” Thursday for hundreds of children, including current and former patients, and their families and friends.

From princesses to superheroes, many of the attendees didn’t shy away from going all-out on costumes. Justin Bieber, a.k.a. 5-year-old patient Emily Sells, also made an appearance. Clad in a brown wig, white pants and shiny black shoes, Emily noted that her favorite Bieber songs included “Baby” and “Never Say Never.” The mini-Bieber had been discharged the previous day after a 7-month stay in the hospital and was enjoying the Halloween fun with her mom, Monique Parker.

The event featured 50 different trick-or-treat stations — each with its own theme and treats — and even a haunted house.

Christine Cunningham, director of patient experience at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, said the “Trick-or-Treat Trail” is one of the most popular events of the year. “It’s an opportunity for them to dress up and spend the next couple of hours being a kid and not focus on the illness that they have,” Cunningham said.

Adelita Mercado’s 4-year-old son, Xavier, wanted to dress up as Batman because “he’s a hero” she said.

Krystal Su, 13, a patient at the hospital, chose to dress as San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick because “he’s cute,” she explained. Her costume was spot-on, right down to the football player’s famous tattoos and 49ers’ gear.

From costume-clad staff members to the excited faces of young patients dressed in their best Halloween get-ups, everyone in attendance showed excitement for the event.

“Our goal at Packard is to make sure every child, every family has a wonderful experience,” Cunningham said. “What we’re really trying to do here is bring some normalcy to our children.”

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