Families who have been touched by childhood cancer got a hug today.

“In the form of a hug we want to show support to the families who are upstairs on the 10th floor or the eighth or ninth floors getting treatment, to show how much we care,” Sharon Nienhuis, RN, said.

Former and current patients and their families joined Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital caregivers to bear witness to the battles against childhood cancer.

The large group formed a “hug” on the drive in front of the hospital. They raised pompoms in a choreographed wave.

“You are the true heroes in our lives,” said James Fahner, MD, division chief for Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at the hospital. “The journey is never easy, it is unpredictable, it is very long, it is overwhelming in so many ways for our families.”