Featured Image Credit: K.C. Alfred / San Diego Union-Tribune
By: Sarah Sharkey
Seven patients of Rady Children’s hospital were able to take a break from their treatment and take a dip with the dolphins at SeaWorld in San Diego. The kids were aged 10 to 15 years old and are all going through treatment at the Children’s Hospital, but they were all able to enjoy this exciting encounter.
The trainer who was working with the group, Jorge Villa, said: “Coming out and interacting with the dolphins allows these kids to forget about what’s going on in their lives.” And as someone who spent time in Rady Children’s Hospital as a child, he understands what these kids are going through.
Bottlenose dolphins Crunch and Kolohe were quick to make friends with the new visitors to their home. The group all played with the dolphins for about 30 minutes, but the memories they made will last forever. The encounter was facilitated through a dolphin interaction program started by a former SeaWorld trainer who fought and won against cancer.
Park Spokesperson, Dave Koontz, said this about the program “This is an opportunity to give these kids a break from the trials and tribulation of treatment. It makes them smile and brightens their spirits. It’s very heartwarming.”
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