HOUSTON - It’s a red carpet premiere of a different kind.
On Wednesday, patients at MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital were treated to a special screening of the new Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence movie, "Passengers."
Before the movie played, the audience heard a special message from Pratt. In it, he mentions the name “Kat,” short for Katarina.
“Katarina came to MD Anderson -- we were living overseas in Seoul, Korea -- and she was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma, which is an adolescent childhood cancer,” Katarina’s dad, Adam Stoffa, said.
That was about three years ago and, as her dad tells us, during her time as a patient she missed out on a lot.
“One of the things that she enjoys very much, and spent time with her friends doing was going to movies,” Stofa said.
That’s why when she was asked to make a wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation it was to bring first-run movies to MD Anderson. With the help of Lollipop Theater Network, hospital administrator Lisa Hafemeister is making that happen.
“We really try to provide all that supportive programming to our patients and their families and their siblings to help kids be kids even while they’re undergoing treatment for cancer here,” Hafemeister said.
Sadly, Katarina lost her battle with cancer this past summer but her memory will live on every time the hospital’s theater comes to life.
“Her wish is coming true, you know she’s getting what she actually wanted,” her older brother, Alex Stoffa, said.
“When we get to hold those wonderful events, such as the one we’re having today in the patient's honor, it really helps us make it a happy memory and that’s wonderful for anyone,” Hafemeister daid.