Leukemia & Lymphoma Society hosts party to let kids battling cancer focus on holiday fun

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Some very special kids enjoy a celebration of the Christmas season Saturday.

Christmas music and popular movie characters greeted guests at the annual Leukemia & Lymphoma Society holiday party.  From tots to teens, more than 80 kids currently fighting cancer at Children's Mercy, their siblings and parents were treated to a day of fun.  Many enjoyed sitting on Santa's lap, crafts and face painting. Every child received a present.

Organizers and families say the celebration helps take their minds off the struggles they face.

"I think it really gets them into the holiday spirit and allows them to celebrate and just have some fun," said Carli Good, executive director of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

"It chokes me up.  They're very excited to come here and we were too.  It's just a really great deal," said Clay Dempsey, who has a five-year-old daughter battling cancer.

Volunteers help make the holiday party possible, along with generous support from Cerner, the KU School of Pharmacy and other sponsors.