The Princess Margaret's annual Children's Holiday Party lifts the spirits of kids touched by cancer


(Santa Claus is greeted by Emma, James and Elizabeth Kavanagh at the annual party)
With balloon animals, gingerbread men and a surprise visit from Santa Claus, it was a special day for kids at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. 

The annual Children’s Holiday Party welcomed more than 50 kids who either have a parent with cancer or who are cancer patients themselves and are receiving radiation treatment at The Princess Margaret.

(A special elf greets children at the holiday party)

For Edward Monteiro, who is undergoing treatment for both leukemia and lymphoma, the party was a way for his son eight-year-old son Aryan and six-year-old daughter Angelina to see the hospital in a different light. 

(Eight-year-old Aryan Monteiro smiles as he gets an airbrush tattoo at the holiday party)

“I want the kids to have good memories of the hospital. I don’t want it to be a scary place. I want to see they can also have fun," he said.

Monteiro feels grateful he’s able to spend Christmas with his family as an outpatient and is looking forward to January where he will be undergoing a stem cell transplant. 

(The Monteiro family: son Aryan (left), dad Edward, mom Celine and daughter Angelina pose with Angela Lau of AM Sweet Party & Co., who made balloon animals for the party)

All of the kids are frequent visitors of the Cancer Centre’s Magic Castle, a free child-care service that gives kids a place to go and play while their parents are at their appointments. 

Christine Kavanagh knows firsthand how beneficial the Magic Castle has been after her husband Matt was diagnosed with a brain tumour three years ago. Having a place for their kids Elizabeth, 8, Emma, 5, and James, 4, to go while Matt was undergoing treatment cut down on a lot of the stress. 

Her husband is now stable and she’s grateful to The Princess Margaret for all the services they have for both the adults and the kids.

(Emma Kavanagh proudly shows off her Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer balloon animal)

“They love the party. It’s meaningful to have a support network for now and in the future,” she said. “It’s very generous, very thoughtful. It lifts the kids.” 

The Children’s Holiday Party has been put on by The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation for more than 10 years and has been sponsored by Paradise Developments for the past five.