Hundreds of teens get to experience prom night at East Bay medical center

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Saturday was an extra-special prom night for hundreds of teenagers in the East Bay.

The celebration was not put on by their school, but rather by the hospital treating them for serious and chronic illnesses.

It was everything you've come to expect from prom night-hanging out with friends, music and dancing, and photos to help remember it all.

It may have looked like the prom we've all experienced, but it's not.

"All of us have been through so much, and I feel like we all understand what we go through in hospitals. And, some of us haven't even been to prom so we're all going to enjoy it," Sierra said.

This is the third year that Kaiser Permanente has put on their pediatric prom. This year, 300 kids who were too sick to attend their school celebration were able to come here instead.

"I didn't go to my junior prom last year, so I'm just like, I didn't have a birthday party last year, so I'm just doing everything, prom and birthday all in one right now," Soni said.

"For some of these kids, they're still going through their chronic illness and a lot of hardship and so it's a time out from some of that," Dr. Judith Park said.

More than 100 Kaiser employees volunteered on their day off to come to the Oakland medical center and help out.

"It just elevates our entire program and uplifts everybody who works with these kids day in and day out," Dr. Jorge Gutierrez said.

The theme of this year's pediatric prom was an evening in Hollywood.

"For people that didn't get to go to their prom, they get to come here, if they feel good enough, and they get to have the experience," Jonathan said.
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