For many of the roughly 50 kids who partied Sunday afternoon at Dave & Buster's in Addison, it's not unusual to spend a lot of time visiting doctors or undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments.
But for a few hours on this day, at least, they just got to be kids, playing arcade games, dressing up for a photo booth and maybe tackling an arts and crafts project.
The youngsters, along with their parents and siblings, were invited to the Leukemia Research Foundation's annual kids party.
Over the past 67 years, the Wilmette-based foundation has raised more than $56 million to help fund research specifically blood cancers, providing patient financial assistance and offering educational support for patients and their families.
Sunday's party was for young leukemia and lymphoma patients "to just be kids again," said foundation spokesman Carl Alston.
Connor Shiltz, 11, of Naperville spent much of his time eating from the free buffet for the families. He had a bone-marrow transplant with help from the Leukemia Research Foundation.
"They saved his life," said his, mother Angie. "He's healthier than any of us."
Zachary Aceves, 10, of Chicago skipped the food and went straight to the arcade games with his brother Alex, 16.
"I feel pretty good," said the six-year leukemia survivor, who has attended several of the LRF's annual parties. "I like this one the best."