By: Alexandra Nicklas
On October 25th, the FACES community came together to participate in the 15th annual Game Day at the Chelsea Piers Field House. Children and families arrived dressed in costume in the spirit of Halloween for a fun-filled afternoon carnival, while connecting with other children, families and their doctors supporting the FACES mission. Although I have been a patient of Dr. Devinsky and a member of the FACES steering committee for a number of years, this was my first Game Day and I am glad I was able to get in on the action.
Everything one would expect to see at a carnival was present, plus more. There were games and activities for all ages. Face painting, pumpkin painting, bounce houses, games, a magician, spin art t-shirts and gymnastics occupied the entire Field House. There was also tons of delicious food to keep everyone energized for the afternoon. A hot dog stand, cotton candy machine, cookie decorating station and an ice cream cart contributed to the carnival atmosphere. Nothing is more special than making a decorated cookie of your own! The day offered an educational component too, with NYU Langone nutritionist Courtney Glick and S.Q.U.A.S.H. intern Annie Dirocco offering ketogenic diet-friendly chocolate bars and lessons on some healthy food choices for children and families.
There was something for every age group to enjoy at Game Day. The youngsters rushed to the bounce house bouncing away as much as they could, while other kids played games to win FACES prizes. I played one myself and quickly knocked down the stuffed animal bears, excited to win my first purple FACES water bottle.
Peggy Guinnessy, an NYULMC recreational therapist and manager of the FACES Parent Network was on site offering informative materials about seizures, epilepsy and ongoing research projects, as well as FACES brochures, and Julie Devinsky’s book, “Is Epilepsy Contagious”.
My first Game Day definitely will not be my last. To see the pure happiness on the faces of so many children made it a day I will never forget. I can’t wait until next year.