Medical student's organization brings magic into young patients' hospital rooms on Long Island

Kemberly Richardson Image
Friday, March 3, 2017
Medical student works his magic
Kemberly Richardson has the story of a medical student charming his patients with magic.

STONY BROOK, Long Island (WABC) -- A medical student at Stony Brook University is making a difference in his young patients' lives by adding a dose of magic.

David Elkin dropped by to see Alex as the 10-year-old was getting a blood transfusion at Stony Brook Cancer Center.

This wasn't just any visit.

Elkin has some tricks up his sleeve.

"Kids, when they're in the hospital feel kind of helpless and hopeless, they don't really know what's going on," said Elkin, the founder of MagicAid. "And so by showing them magic and actually teaching them magic, because MagicAid also teaches magic to the kids, that's a big part of it, it gives them some control in an environment they would otherwise have no control in."

Elkin says that while in high school he was volunteering at a hospital and something incredible happened.

"I saw this girl who was crying, she was about to undergo a procedure, and so I went in and I had a deck of cards on me, because I was already doing magic professionally, and so I went in and did some magic for her and she loved it," Elkin said.

At just 16 years old, he started his own foundation, MagicAid.

He's now a third year medical student at Stony Brook University and through his organization has trained about 60 fellow students.

Once they are done with studying and rounds, a roughly 10-hour day, his team pulls out the cards, rubbers bands and red balls.

Alex was impressed.

"He actually enjoys magic, so this allows him to learn some magic tricks and show to the family and all his friends and amaze them as well," said Adam Shuder, Alex's dad.

Elkin plans to expand his program nationwide and beyond just predicates his mantra... "Bringing magic and medicine one smile at a time."

"Magic provides them with a subconscious hope that they get better, it makes the impossible seem possible," Elkin said.

For more information please visit: