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Sunday Funday Moment: ‘Ghost Challenge’ helps young cancer patient through chemotherapy treatments

EL PASO, Texas--- Although we are still a few weeks away from Halloween, the “Ghost Challenge” on TikTok has been trending since last month.

The concept is pretty simple. Dress up like a ghost by throwing a sheet over your head and take a picture in random places. For 4-year-old Isaiah Santana and his mom Valerie Hernandez, this challenge is more than just a silly trend.

The 'Ghost Challenge was a way to keep Isaiah distracted while he spent his days inside a hospital room 5 days out of the month.

“He kinda was like what’s going on? Why am I here? I kinda explained it to him and I said you know you have a bump in your head and it’s making you sick that’s why you’re thirsty and we need to get rid of it,” said Valerie Hernandez.

Back in May of 2020, 4-year-old Isaiah was diagnosed with Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis.

"Which they kinda explained to me a kinda rare brain tumor,” explained Hernandez.

Isaiah's diagnosis came during the pandemic which meant his hospital visits would be a little different than usual.

“He was diagnosed during COVID so according to all the nurses it was never like this they always had things going on,” said Hernandez.

But Isaiah and his mom weren’t going to let a pandemic stop them from having fun while he spent five days out of the month getting his chemotherapy treatments.

“The other night when we were on TikTok he was like, 'I wanna do that I wanna be a ghost.'So I went and asked the nurse is it ok if he can be a ghost and they were like sure,” said Hernandez.

And a ghost he became! Every chemo treatment little Isaiah would throw a bed sheet over his head, place sunglasses on his face and walk around the halls of the hospital as mom snapped a photo to document the fun.

This viral trend began to help little Isaiah forget about his treatments and instead he would look forward to dressing up as a ghost.

“This past treatment was different because he didn’t cry. It’s a needle that they insert in his chest, but he didn’t cry,” said Hernandez.

She hopes that in the future her son will look back at this ghost challenge trend and be reminded that through his treatments he had more good days than bad days.

“He'll remember going to the hospital, but he won’t remember being poked. He’ll remember his being there and singing to him, but she was there. She tried,” said Hernandez.

Sunday Funday

Iris Lopez

Iris Lopez is a weathercaster and reporter for ABC-7.

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