Aug 28

Rady Children's Patients Take a DIP with Dolphins

SeaWorld San Diego has been hosting patients from Rady Children’s Hospital for a Dolphin Interaction Program (DIP) for seven years, as part of a program started by dolphin trainer Joy, who battled and overcame non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Joy, who herself underwent chemotherapy at a Children’s Hospital in Southern California, vowed that if she made it through her ordeal, she would offer dolphin interactions as a welcome distraction to children going through similar struggles.

On Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, 11 youngsters enjoyed a memorable and immersive encounter with bottlenose dolphins. Three of the patients in this year’s DIP are heart transplant recipients: Twin brothers Eric and Raul Montano received transplants earlier this year at Rady Children’s. The 11-year-old boys were joined by their cousin Jeevan Trejo, who also suffered from the same condition and received a heart transplant. The other participants, who range in age from 10 to 16, are battling cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. But during their DIP with the dolphins, it was all about splashing, playing with and hugging these amazing ocean creatures.

Watch the video below: