Superheroes, super kids in super costumes don’t let cancer stop Halloween

Children from the Jimmy Fund Clinic and their families trick or treat through Dana Farber.
Children from the Jimmy Fund Clinic and their families trick or treat through Dana Farber. Photo courtesy of Sydney Altschuler.

Abby Roxo likes to be unique on Halloween, and today she had unique totally covered.

The 9-year-old from Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, arrived at the outpatient clinic of Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center ready for the annual Halloween parade. Wearing a feathery white halo, white shirt and white pants with large black spots, Abby, who made her costume with the help of her sisters, also drew black spots on her cheeks and wore bright red lipstick.

What was she? “Holy cow!” she said.

Abby, who is being treated for a low-grade glioma brain tumor, joined other young patients and their families and collected candy in a costume parade through the executive offices of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the pediatric outpatient clinic and faculty offices and Dana-Farber dining hall.

“The costumes are really fun to wear, and we have a lot of fun making them,” she said. “And you get to wear a lot of make-up that you usually don’t get to wear.”

Children from the Jimmy Fund Clinic and their families trick or treat through Dana Farber.
Photo courtesy of Sydney Altschuler

With his mother pushing his IV pole, 6-year-old Ayden Tanona of Sturbridge, Massachusetts, who is being treated for leukemia, paraded as Captain America. Logan Pierce, an 8-year-old from Carver, MA, likes Halloween’s scary decorations. He arrived as Star Wars villain, Kylo Ren, while his 3-year-old sister Harley, also being treated for leukemia, was Yoda.

Tommy Scardina from Marshfield, Massachusetts, who is being treated for a rare carcinoma, was fresh off his moment in the spotlight, dropping the puck at a recent Boston Bruins game. Today, the 9-year-old marched dressed as a hot dog. Why? “Because I’m always eating hot dogs,” he said. “They’re delicious!”

Children from the Jimmy Fund Clinic and their families trick or treat through Dana Farber.
Photo courtesy of Sydney Altschuler

Zachary Callahan, a 2-year-old sports fan and leukemia patient from Ashburnham, Massachusetts, came dressed as Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. By the time the parade neared its end, Zachary could barely lift his bag. “Too much candy,” he said as he passed the bag to his mother.

Learn more about Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center.