Tails were wagging on Saturday, June 3, 2017. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia teamed up with Penn Vet for the fifth year in celebration of “Best Friends Bash,” an event designed to pair craniofacial patients with four-legged friends living with similar facial differences and conditions.
The day provides an opportunity for kids to interact with the dogs, with the goal of demonstrating how well the animals have adapted and letting patients know they are not alone.
The gathering is cherished for both the patients and their families — one that is looked forward to all year. “The Best Friends Bash means a lot to me,” says 18-year-old Danny Pfeiffer, a patient treated by the Craniofacial Program in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at CHOP. “Everyone comes together to make new friends and you get to know the dogs and bond with them. They’re going through the same things as many of us did, but without a care in the world. They know how to live in the here and the now. It shows me that I'm not alone and reminds me to stay strong.”
For many, the day is extra special because the kid’s get to experience firsthand the power of resilience. “I enjoy coming to the Best Friends Bash because you can connect with a lot of animals,” says Maryelena, a CHOP patient. “You can see all of the different things they’ve gone through that you can relate to. There was a dog that had surgery for cleft lip and palate and I had surgery for frontonasal dysplasia. It’s just so wonderful and so fun to see these dogs and pet them and learn what they’ve gone through. I always leave being amazed by the dogs. They inspire me."
Check out some of the photos from the 2017 Best Friend's Bash.