Kids play with butterflies during cancer treatment

September 21, 2012 2:13:33 PM PDT
September is National Childhood Cancer month and Ronald McDonald house in New York is celebrating it with butterflies. They will be hosting an annual science education event for young cancer patients and their families to enjoy themselves while learning about the migration of the monarch butterfly!

Kids that are getting a lesson on butterfly migration, with some butterfly kisses along the way.

It's the annual butterfly event at the Ronald McDonald House of New York where children with cancer and their families stay while getting treatment.

"They get a chance to be kids. You know, they've been in a hospital all day getting treatments," said Bill Sullivan, President and CEO of Ronald McDonald House of New York.

Twelve-year-old Antoinette named her butterfly Archie.

"I learned that, a male butterfly has two dots on them and a female doesn't," she said.

Every year, monarch butterflies make their way from Canada to warmer weather in the mountains of Mexico. There can be an orange color you see in the trees, which would be a colony of about 75 million monarchs hanging out for the winter.

But it remains a mystery how each generation knows exactly where to go.

The kids tag the butterfly with a sticker, so researchers can track their journey. It's part of a project called monarch watch.

But this is more than just a lesson in science.

For kids with cancer who deal with months or even years of treatment it's often hard to see that light at the end of the tunnel. The hope is that butterflies will give these kids and their families a little dose of inspiration.

Every butterfly begins as a caterpillar that goes through a period of darkness in that cacoon. (but at the end of it all, they can fly).

"For us, hopefully one day we will be free from cancer so that's why we set the butterflies free," adds Tania Gerber.


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