On Saturday, June 2, patients from the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), along with four-legged friends from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, celebrated the sixth Annual Best Friends Bash. The event brought together kids and dogs with similar health conditions. More than 30 CHOP families attended, many of whom were treated in CHOP’s Craniofacial Program. They were greeted by wagging tails and excitement from Bosco, a Rottweiler with a skull deformity who also had four leg operations; Cyrus, a mixed breed dog who was born without front legs; Emma, a Golden Retriever who had surgery to remove a craniofacial tumor; Malikai, a Golden Retriever who had cleft palate repair; and Vivian, a Staffordshire Terrier mix who serves as a Therapy Dog Ambassador for the National Dog Show. Also, in attendance were agility dogs, Magic Johnson and Molly.
Since its inception in 2013, this event facilitates the benefits of bringing together human and veterinary patients. It is an opportunity for children to see how dogs are affected by similar challenges and how well they have adapted.
“Best Friends Bash is such a wonderful opportunity for our patients,” said Diana Sweeney, a parent liaison in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at CHOP. “It is so rewarding to watch the children relate to these dogs and for them to see their resilience. It is my hope that they see that same courage in themselves.”
The event is generously funded by the Henry Schein Cares Foundation and hosted by the Center for Human Appearance, CHOP, and Penn Vet.