Last year, Raif, a 7-year-old boy, was one of those patients. He was treated in hospital for a discovered tumor.
“We found out about this time last year that he had a tumor in his kidney,” said Laura Farris, Raif’s mother, “so he had emergency surgery and was in the PICU over Halloween.”
According to Raif’s mother, the tumor was 11.5 cm by 15 cm. Raif had to have surgery to remove the tumor and his right kidney. He also required radiation and chemotherapy after doctors discovered the tumor had spread.
“We also found out that it had spread to his lungs, so it was stage four,” Raif’s mother said.
After missing so much in his young life for a year, he was about to miss Halloween as he went through treatments — until Spirit Halloween showed up with the surprise costume from the Spirit of Children program.
“He felt really bad because he had just had surgery and he was upset because he couldn’t trick or treat,” Raif’s mom said, “and so the costume was a really big help and a lifeline for him because he was missing something so much.” .”
Raif will finish chemotherapy on June 17 and is currently undergoing monthly tests. His family is concerned about the scans, but things are going better than last year. This year, they are also giving back to the program that helped him get to this point.
“We want to educate programs like this, the Presbyterian Hospital, and the pediatric cancer programs themselves because they don’t get the funding they need — four percent of research dollars go to childhood cancer,” Raif’s father said.
“We make sure we ask every customer,” said Jesse Orion, district manager of Spirit Halloween NM. “You have the option to do everything from rounding up to the next dollar to donating a million dollars — whatever you have.”
Spirit Halloween collects donations at all of their stores in New Mexico. The money will help bring fun and funding to hospitals so that children like Raif can enjoy themselves during treatment.
Click here for more information about the Spirit of Children program.