A few patients at Schneider Children’s Hospital got a surprise visit from a special pair of guests – Mickey and Minnie Mouse.
The famous Disney couple brought smiles to the faces of the assembled children, as Mickey shook hands and danced while Minnie dispensed hugs and kisses on Friday, October 16.
“It’s a bright spot; I’ve never seen a kid that doesn’t love Mickey,” said Diane Hancock, Disney Vacation Club Manager of Public Affairs.
Mickey and Minnie handed out miniature doll versions of themselves to the children, who seemed more than happy to pose in pictures with the Disney icons.
“It was really exciting that they came here to have some fun with us,” said 10-year-old patient Eduardo Caldames.
Hospital spokesperson Michelle Pinto expressed the gratitude the hospital, a part of the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, had for the opportunity to host Mickey and Minnie.
“The children’s hospital is very fortunate to be able to welcome many famous celebrities and sports figures, but it’s safe to say that having Mickey and Minnie join is going to be a highpoint of our year,” Pinto said.
According to Hancock, a Disney visit can be therapeutic for parents as well as young patients.
“The parents get a lot out of it too,” Hancock said. “To see their child smile or give Mickey a hug after being through a lot of treatment, it’s really encouraging.”
Caldames’ mother, Xiomara Franco, seemed to agree with Hancock’s sentiment.
“It’s so nice, he was so excited about this,” Franco said. “He finished his appointment at 11:30 and he was looking forward to this, he couldn’t wait.”
The hospital visit came a day ahead of the opening of Disney Doorway to Dreams at the Roosevelt Field Mall in Westbury. Hancock said when Disney characters travel, they like to stop in children’s hospitals or boys and girls clubs.
“We thought, while we were here, we would spread a little magic to the hospital,” Hancock said.