BETHESDA, Md. (WDVM) — It was an outer space experience for some kids at the Children’s Inn at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda today.
The children had the chance to sit down and have a Q&A with a real astronaut. Patients at the Children’s Inn at National Institutes of Health are participating in clinical research studies for the best treatment for their rare diseases, and with having to bear the stresses of tests and medication. Some strive to make life living at the inn a little better.
“I got to see what the temperature of my finger was,” said Ava Kelsey at the Children’s Inn. Ava literally got an outer space experience. She met astronaut, Clay Anderson, via Skype. The kids were able to chat with Clay and ask several questions, all to make their dream come true.
A family all the way from New York is at the inn while doctors try to figure out a very rare immune deficiency disorder called “Dock 8,” where the body develops allergies to just about everything. “If there were shellfish in the house, I would get an allergic reaction to it. I’d start wheezing and such,” stated William and Meghan Kacinski at the inn. William says he faces different reactions. “They are puzzled as to what’s happening. Maybe I could be. Who knows? I could be a cure. I could be something that’s mutating in the whole deficiency, so we don’t know yet,” he added.
Dozens of children who are participating in studies were filled with excitement to meet Anderson, and hopeful research could lead them to healthier lives someday. “It’s something they will never forget, and that’s the goal. We want to make childhood possible for these kids, and to have them have the best experience possible,” said the Children Inn’s Program Operations Manager, Javin Smith.
The Children’s Inn has almost completed their renovations, and now has 60 beds for patients.