MD Anderson hosts second annual rodeo kickoff for cancer patients

HOUSTON—It’s rodeo season and everyone is getting in on the rodeo fun.

MD Anderson hosted its second annual rodeo kickoff event for children and teens being treated for cancer.

“We just had the idea to bring a little bit of rodeo to the children of MD Anderson just for the fact that some of them may not get to come out and visit the rodeo. We all felt it's important to share some of that enthusiasm that we all feel this time of year,” said Lezli Schilling Goss.

“We have a hospital full of kids that enjoy the rodeo and are looking for a sense of normalcy, so having a special event where professional cowgirls and cowboys are out here passing out hats and rodeo belt buckles is an exciting thing for families,” said Daniel Smith, Manager of Pediatric Education and Creative Arts.

Everyone gets in on the rodeo activities to put a smile on their patients' faces.

“We've got faculty, family, friends, internal, external, pediatric family and friends that are interested in participating in an event where they get to get outside the walls of their hospital rooms,” said Smith.

Jose Cordava is battling Leukemia. He says this special event is nice to take a break from the hospital room and the depression that they feel as they battle their illnesses.

“For patients that we have going through treatment here and even their families, it’s just providing a since of normalcy and takes them out of their hospital experience in a traditional since and gives them a chance to run up and down and have fun, toss on a cowboy hat and get ready to rodeo,” said Smith.