Tampa, Florida - Two friends, Desiree Long and Ella Bell, like to play all sorts of things together- swing, basketball, pretending to be puppies. And on this day the game is "hide from the camera" as they run away with a scream.
But screams and giggles and even tears are okay at the Children's Cancer Centerof Tampa, because it's a place where sick kids can be-just kids.
Desiree and Ella love to hangout, "to forget about all the bad things," says 9-year-old Desiree. Ella, 7, adds, "And have fun."
And while kids battling cancer and blood disorders find relief at CCC, so do entire families. There are programs for siblings and parents too; everything from camps to counseling.
"This is just like Cheers," says Ella's mom Kristina Bell referring to the TV show's theme song. "Everybody knows your name, and your struggles are all the same."
But the center can't help families alone. Donations keep the doors open and that's why this week a $5,000 check from the restaurant chain PDQ was accepted pretty darn quick.
"Clap for PDQ," CCC President Patty O'Leary urges gathered families.
So why did PDQ pick the Children's Cancer Center to help out? Well, the center's mission does hit home with restaurant executives. One of PDQ's top managers knows what it's like to have a child diagnosed with cancer.
And after touring the center, PDQ President Steve Erickson says giving back to the community is just good business.
"It almost brings tears to your eyes as you walk through, as you see the efforts that happen. But then there's a huge smile that takes place, because you know what it does for families," he said.
Having a kid with cancer is a club no family wants to join and while cures may come in the future, the Children's Cancer Center is Making a Difference today.
You can tell by the giggles and screams.