DeVos Children’s Hospital hosts annual picnic to honor cancer patients


BYRON CENTER, Mich. (WOOD) — It was a special afternoon Saturday for dozens of young cancer patients in West Michigan.

Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital hosted their 25th annual reunion picnic in Byron Center. It’s a huge celebration for past and present childhood cancer patients and their families.

For many of the kids, it’s a long-awaited chance to get out of their hospital room and just have some fun.

Elizabeth Reynolds brought her children to the event, including her youngest daughter, Lydia — who’s currently suffering from a blood disorder. But this isn’t the first time she has been at the annual picnic.

Five years ago, her 2-year-old son, Micah Heinrich, was battling a rare form of liver cancer.

The family came out to the picnic — and Reynolds says her son had the time of his life.

Sadly, Little Micah passed away just two days after that.

Reynolds and her family have been coming back to the event ever year since — holding on to that cherished memory.

“We came out to that picnic and I had never seen him happier. I had never seen him play like he did at that picnic five years ago. So now, to come back, it’s just a memory of that. You know, you could almost picture my little Micah running around, playing the games with his feeding tube and laughing at Reese, who is the child life specialist. The whole bit,” Reynolds told 24 Hour News 8 Saturday.

Reynolds said it also means the world to be able to talk with other families that are going through the same difficult experience.

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