published : 2023-09-29

Teenage Brain Cancer Patient Receives Surprise Dance at Hospital

‘We were not about to let a 17-year-old miss out entirely on the experience'

A photo of Megan Krafty smiling during the surprise dance at Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital. (Taken with Nikon D850)

When Megan Krafty, a 17-year-old brain cancer patient, learned that she would have to miss her senior homecoming due to her illness, her caregivers at Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital decided to bring the dance to her.

Despite being disappointed about missing out on this milestone in her senior year, Krafty's caregivers sprang into action and organized a special surprise dance just for her.

Transforming the hospital gym into a winter wonderland complete with Christmas decorations, they surprised Krafty with her boyfriend, family, and fellow rehab patients in attendance.

Overwhelmed with joy, Krafty was moved to tears as she entered the gym, which had been completely transformed for the occasion.

The group laughed, danced, enjoyed delicious food, participated in crafts, and made the most of the afternoon together.

Megan Krafty's journey with brain cancer began in May when a post-seizure MRI revealed the presence of a golf ball-sized tumor.

While doctors were able to remove 70% of the tumor in a subsequent surgery, they had to leave behind the remaining 30% due to its connection to her nervous system.

A heartwarming image of Megan Krafty dancing with her boyfriend during the Christmas-themed dance. (Taken with Canon EOS R)

As a result of the surgery, Krafty experienced some paralysis on her left side but showed incredible resilience and positive spirit throughout her treatment.

Following her surgery, Krafty embarked on her rehabilitation journey at Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital, where she was met with an outpouring of support and care from her dedicated team of therapists and social workers.

Her caregivers knew how important the homecoming dance was to Krafty, especially since it was her senior year.

Determined to make her experience as special as possible, they organized a themed dance inspired by Krafty's favorite holiday, Christmas.

The entire hospital gym was adorned with festive decorations, immersing Krafty and her loved ones in a magical winter atmosphere.

Leah Young, a certified therapeutic recreation specialist at Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital, expressed the team's dedication to creating positive experiences for their young patients, stating that anything they could do to bring a smile to their faces and make their hospital stay easier was worth it.

Lisa Leonard, an inpatient therapy clinical manager who had been assisting Krafty with her rehabilitation, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the importance of personalized experiences for the young patients in their care.

A group photo capturing the joy and camaraderie among Megan Krafty, her family, and fellow rehab patients at the hospital dance. (Taken with Sony Alpha a7 III)

The success of Krafty's surprise dance has inspired the hospital staff to make it an annual tradition for all their young patients, ensuring that no one misses out on memorable experiences during their hospital stays.

Krafty's remarkable journey continues, as she prepares for six weeks of radiation treatments.

While awaiting pathology results from her surgery, the healthcare team will gain crucial information about the type and severity of Krafty's glioma, which will guide her prognosis and future treatment decisions.

Despite the challenges she has faced, Krafty's determination to succeed shines through, as she already takes college courses and has plans to attend the University of Toledo to become a pharmacist.

Megan Krafty's story is not only one of resilience and hope but a testament to the incredible support and care provided by the healthcare professionals at Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital.

Their commitment to their patients' well-being extends beyond medical treatments, as they go above and beyond to create meaningful and unforgettable experiences, even in the face of adversity.