The Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus is in town this week, and they made a special stop at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center on Thursday.
"We're bringing a little bit of fun to the children here in Connecticut," Ringmaster David Shipman said. "And we just donated $10,000 to the hospital today."
The money is something that researchers at Connecticut Children's Medical Center rely on.
"We are completely dependent on donor money when it comes to almost all of the research that we provide here at Connecticut Children's," Michael Isakoff, clinical director of the Division of Hematology and Oncology said. “Mostly clinical trials hoping to improve the therapy for children with cancer."
In addition to the donation, the circus brought therapy for the pediatric patients in the form of laughter.
"It gives the kids the ability to just be kids for a little bit, right? No matter what they're going through, the difficulties, the stress, it allows them to decompress and have a good time," Shipman said.
The escape and fun is something many of the patients at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center could use.
"A lot of our in-patient families who are here for a long amount of time might not be able to actually get to the circus," Kelsea Fortner, the family education and resource coordinator at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, said. "So it's really special for them to be able to come down here and see at least a small part of the circus."
Over the next few months, the Ringling Bros. Children’s Fund will donate more than $1 million to support cancer research and to care for children diagnosed with pediatric cancer.