Holiday Party Held For Cancer Patients & Families

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SLIDELL The Slidell Police Union is spreading holiday cheer to cancer patients and their families.

Welcome to the Slidell Memorial Hospital Cancer Center.

“It’s a place  where people are cared for extremely well and really cared for in a really respectful manor,” SMH Cancer Center Spokeswoman JoAnn Forsyth said.

And this year care-givers are not only looking out for their patients, they’ve partnered with the Slidell Police Union to make sure their children have a Merry Christmas.

They’re giving out thousands of dollars in toys for kids of all ages.

“We have toys, everything from nice high-end bikes for teenagers all the way down to brand new footballs, basketballs, skateboards, dolls,” Police Union V.P. Luke Irwin said. “You name it, we have it.”

It’s one more way to help patients through challenging times.

“As you can imagine they sometimes are very ill and they can’t do a lot of things for their children.” “They can’t take them to see Santa.” “Maybe they don’t have the resources to do that; maybe they don’t have the energy,” Forsyth.

But here positive energy is key.

Just ask Melinda Champaign. She’s a three-time breast cancer survivor.

She says celebrations like this one filled with laughter promote a positive attitude and healing.

“It helps a lot because going through the treatments and the drugs you have to take it can cause you to get down and depressed and feel bad but if there are people around you who can bring you up and talk to you that always helps,” Melinda Champaign said.

Her husband John Champaign says this celebration goes along with the kids.

“It takes a load off, it takes the edge off where they can have a moment where things may be normal and I think it’s good for them,” John Champaign said.

Dozens of Slidell businesses donated toys in support of the Slidell Police Union.

Wednesday’s party was the first of five holiday events sponsored by the union.

Others are scheduled in the days leading up to Christmas.