A visit so regal

Young patients smile when princesses come to call.

A royally sweet smile spread across Arianna Roland’s face when she met her special visitor.

Before her stood a beautiful fairy-tale princess. And not just any princess―her all-time favorite princess, Snow White.

For Arianna, a 10-year-old girl fighting leukemia, the visit was a big mood brightener, said her mother, Charity Musser.

Visits from Disney princesses brought smiles to children throughout Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital on this spring day.

Wearing long gowns and dazzling smiles, Elsa, Anna, Ariel, Belle and Snow White―well-loved characters from the movies―visited playrooms and exam rooms to meet with the young patients and their brothers and sisters.

The ambassadors from the Princess Party Co. popped in to visit Melanie Sporte, a 2-year-old in for her checkup. Accompanied by music therapist Bridget Sova, the princesses serenaded Melanie with a rendition of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

“I think she especially liked the song,” said her mother, Louise. “They did it real sweetly.”

Arianna, recovering from her second round of chemotherapy, asked just to meet with Snow White.

As Arianna sat in her wheelchair in the playroom, Snow White knelt beside her.

“I have my red cape on,” she said. “I hear you like the color red.”

“Yeah,” Arianna said shyly.

They chatted quietly, and then parted with a hug.

“Are you going to tell all your friends you got to meet Snow White?” her mother asked.

Arianna nodded and smiled.

Before the visit, Arianna didn’t feel like leaving her hospital room to go to the playroom, her mother said. She took a bit of coaxing from child life specialist Rhys VanDemark.

But after meeting Snow White, Arianna got out of her wheelchair and sat on the floor to color a poster of a beautiful castle.

She and her mother added a finishing touch at the bottom: “Princess Arianna.”

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