Five Texas Children’s nurses, two patients surprised with tickets to the big game

January 31, 2017

Five Texas Children’s nurses and two patients from Texas Children’s Cancer Center will get a chance of a lifetime to watch the football game at NRG Stadium this Sunday, thanks to the generosity of Texas Children’s community partners, Direct Energy and Hyundai’s Hope on Wheels Program.

Surrounded by colorful balloons and football-themed décor, Texas Children’s and Direct Energy hosted a pep rally on Tuesday at Texas Children’s Pavilion for Women to present five heroic nurses with a pair of football tickets to Sunday’s game.

Evelyn Barren, a staff nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, was surprised to learn that she was one of the winners. When asked who she’d like to bring to the game, she had one special person in mind.

“I have a friend who works at Texas Children’s whose daughter is performing at the game with her high school,” Barren said. “Since she doesn’t have a Super Bowl ticket, I will surprise her with one so she can see her daughter perform at the game.”

The selected winners were among the recipients of Texas Children’s 2016 Nursing Excellence Awards. Click on the names below to read their heroic stories:
Amy Aaronson
Evelyn Barren
Colleen Brand
Leah Garza
Christopher Sturrock

Also, two Cancer Center patients – Eden Green and Cristian Beasley – are going to the championship game thanks to Hyundai’s Hope on Wheels program, a nonprofit organization committed to finding a cure for childhood cancer.

Eden, an 11-year-old rare tumor patient, and Cristian, a 16-year-old leukemia patient, both have trudged a long road fighting their disease. Each has undergone at least one surgery, multiple rounds of chemotherapy and countless doctor’s visits.

Fortunately, both patients have won their battle against cancer and while both patients come back to Texas Children’s Cancer Center for routine follow up visits, each child is living a relatively normal life. Eden is pursuing acting and modeling, and Cristian, a huge football fan and former player, recently was given clearance to start playing again.

To help mark these milestones, Hyundai Hope for Wheels surprised the patients with tickets to the big game and will be capturing their experience via social media. You can follow Eden and Cristian on Sunday at @hopeonwheels (Twitter) and @hyundaihopeonwheels (Instagram). Also, click here to watch KHOU News 11’s story on Cristian’s reaction to getting to go to Sunday’s game.

Dr. ZoAnn Dreyer, Cristian’s doctor at the Cancer Center, said the game day tickets are a remarkable kickoff to her patient’s own football career.

“He had a rough journey, and to think he’s recovered enough to be able to play football is amazing,” Dreyer said. “He’s given his recovery 1,000 percent, and now that work is really paying off. I’m thrilled he will get to celebrate at the game this Sunday.”