There was a buzz in the air at the Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora as children began to slowly make their way to the hospital's lobby. The children, ages 3 to 17, were patients of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, Neurosciences Institute, Heart Institute, Rehabilitation, Orthopedics Institute and trauma and surgery departments. They had no idea what they were about to see — they just knew that they were going to some type of holiday event.
As the children made their way to the lobby that was decorated with a sky-high Christmas tree and two large, white chairs, it became apparent amongst the crowd that this wasn't just any event.
Families and individuals packed balconies above the lobby to watch as former first lady Michelle Obama and Santa Claus entered the room to a roar from the crowd. Obama, who is in Denver as part of a tour for her book, “Becoming,” started off the event by reading “The Night Before Christmas.” Once the book was finished, she answered questions that the children had.
“What inspires me? It's kids like you,” Obama told the crowd. “Whenever I meet kids like you guys, it gives me a reason to work harder.”
Leslie Hernandez, a child who sat through the event in a wheelchair, said she felt inspired by seeing the former first lady in person.
“It makes me happy that she came to visit us. I got to see a famous person today,” Hernandez said with a big grin on her face.
Once Obama left, Santa handed children presents like books and board games. Obama has met with other children on her book tour, including at Whitney Young High School in Chicago and the Boys and Girls Club in Boston.
“It was awesome. The timing was beautiful, and I think she is such a great role model for young women, and Americans in general,” said Roslyn Swinton, a mother of one of the children in attendance.
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