Side by side, Rameses and other mascots did the twist for 36 seconds with kids in the playroom of UNC Children’s Hospital. Thirty-six is the number of children diagnosed with cancer every day.
The visit was organized by Mascots for a Cure, a nonprofit dedicated to the fight against childhood cancer. Through events, programs and donors, the organization raises awareness and funds for those affected by childhood cancer. Mascots for a Cure works closely with the mascot community, working with big names such as David Raymond, the original Phillie Phanatic.
Corey Essman, the mascot coordinator for the Carolina Mudcats, has been a part of the program for two years. He praised the organization’s national reach and integration of the mascot community.
“It’s pretty cool because there’s not a lot of mascot charities around,” Essman said.
After one particular visit with a patient, a doctor approached Essman and told him that Muddy, mascot for the Carolina Mudcats, had made a patient smile for the first time since he was admitted to the hospital.
“I’m here to bring entertainment and joy to the kids, and if I do something like that or he tells me that, then that’s my job being done.”
Kim Ivey is the grandmother of a patient being treated at the hospital. Her granddaughter has been in and out of the hospital for a long time, and she’s seen the mascots on several occasions. She said they’re a bright presence in the kids’ lives.
“They come in here, and they make everybody happy. You see the smiles on the kids faces when they’re sitting here.”
Victoria Jones is a community volunteer with the North Carolina Children’s Hospital. This was her first experience with Mascots for a Cure. She pointed out the friendly dynamics between the mascots, the patients and even the patients’ parents.