WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) — First Lady Melania Trump made a special visit to Children’s National Hospital Friday, reading to patients there and thanking healthcare workers for their service.
While this is an annual tradition for all first ladies, for those who got to meet her, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Trump walked into Children’s National Hospital right alongside 11-year-old Declan McCahan.
“I’ve gone through a lot of stuff, and it made me really happy to do this today,” said McCahan, a patient at the hospital.
McCahan was treated for brain cancer this year, but he’s recovering now and on the mend.
He sat next to the First Lady while she read to those gathered.
“It’s really fun, because you will never, ever get to do this again, probably,” McCahan said.
First ladies have a long tradition of visiting Children’s National Hospital during the holidays to visit patients and read them a Christmas story.
This year’s choice was “Oliver the Ornament Meets Belle,” a Christmas story with an anti-bullying message, written by Chicago author and Wisconsin native Todd Zimmerman.
“It’s incredibly humbling,” Zimmerman said. “This is just a wonderful event that brings people together throughout the country to celebrate the holiday season.”
It’s also the second year in a row one of his books was chosen for the event.
“This is a book that the First Lady of the United States has selected to be read because of its message of kindness, and to me, that’s an issue that everyone in our country can agree upon,” Zimmerman said.
The First Lady also spent time with patients too sick to see the main event.
“She was so warm and so kind and took an active interest in each person with whom she spoke,” said Mara Glaser McCahan, Declan’s mother.