Young cancer patients visit SeaWorld

Group of teens get break from battling cancer

SAN ANTONIO - A group of 28 teenagers got the photo-op of a lifetime Tuesday at SeaWorld.  Coming face-to-face with a Beluga whale, the teenagers were given the chance to interact with the docile animals.

"Amazing,” said 15-year-old Shianne Fuslier, a non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma patient from Lake Charles, La. “I've never been here in my life. It’s so cool!"

For Fuslier, it was a much needed step away from the realities of life. The entire group of teens is currently battling cancer, which means they have spent many hours inside a hospital room.

"When you're inside, you're all down and stuff, because the chemo doesn’t feel good,” said 19-year-old Vernell Dunson, a Leukemia patient from Georgia.

"I live three hours away from where I get treatment and I just don't get to see any of my friends,” said Fuslier  “A lot of times when I have to go, none of my friends that I get treatment with are there."

It is a situation that is not easy for teenagers. 

So in 1982, the Sunshine Kids Foundation, who was behind Tuesday’s event, was started to give hope to young cancer patients like Fuslier and Dunson.

"Our goal is to get them out of the hospital, to meet other kids and other families that are going through the same thing,” said Edrian Brooks, with the Sunshine Kids Foundation.

For this group of 28 teenagers, a trip to SeaWorld was just what the doctor ordered.

"It’s a fun opportunity for them to be kids and to have fun,” added Brooks.

"This is my first time, so this is pretty awesome to me,” said Dunson.

The National Sunshine Kids Texas Hill Country Adventure is headquartered at Texas State University in San Marcos.

A slideshow is embedded here.

For a list of recent stories Justin Horne has done, click here.


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