Rady Children's Hospital patients visit Sea World to interact wi - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Rady Children's Hospital patients visit Sea World to interact with dolphins

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Patients from Rady Children's Hospital will have a chance to interact with bottlenose dolphins Tuesday under the eye of a Sea World dolphin trainer who survived her own battle with cancer.

Sea World will host about 10 patients between the ages of 10 and 18, who will touch, feed and interact with dolphins, assisted by trainer Joy Clausen, according to park spokeswoman Kelly Terry.

Clausen was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and underwent chemotherapy at a children's hospital in Southern California some 10 years ago.

As she has done in previous years, she wanted to provide a welcome distraction to kids who underwent chemotherapy, Terry said.

"When they are in the water with the dolphins, all they think about is having fun. It takes their minds off what they are going through," Clausen said of last year's dolphin interaction event, according to the park's web site.

The children's families will be able to watch the interactions and then spend the rest of the day at the park.

Rady Children's Hospital is the largest children's hospital in the state and has a 442-bed pediatric care unit. It is the only hospital in the San Diego area dedicated exclusively to pediatric healthcare and the area's only pediatric trauma center.

The park and hospital will team up again Oct. 1, for the Fifth Annual Shamu and You Family Walk to raise money for Rady Children's Hospital.

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