BRANDON, Fla. — More than a hundred kids with illnesses, some terminal, came together for a special day to put their troubles behind.

What You Need To Know

  • Non-profit Celebrate Birthdays helps gives birthday parties to kids in need

  • They held the Summer Birthday Bash on Saturday in Brandon

A local nonprofit called Celebrate Birthdays threw a big party to let them have some fun.

Shanella Fisher, 11, was happy just to get to be a kid again.

At her young age, she’s already had to battle leukemia.

“It was hard,” Fisher said. “I didn’t always get to see all my friends. I didn’t get to go to school and had to stay out of the hospital a lot.”

Now in recovery, Shanella joined dozens of other kids on Saturday for the Summer Birthday Bash.

It was hosted by Celebrate Birthdays, co-founded by Belinda Leto two years ago.

She partners with other groups to help give kids who are sick or in foster care the chance to have a birthday party.

“These children deserve to be celebrated,” Leto said. “A lot of what they go through are hard times. They have scars. They have different things. For us, we want them to be happy. This is a day filled with joy. We want it to be a big deal for them.”

Celebrate Birthdays hosted the bash on Saturday at Rotary's Camp Florida in Brandon..

The kids got a chance to see some fancy cars provided by Enthusiasts For Hope, meet some Star Wars characters from the Tampa Bay 501st Legion and even a mermaid!

Of course, the main event is the singing of happy birthday, complete with cake and presents.

For kids like Shanella, it’s a chance to leave their troubles behind and just be a kid.

“It makes me feel special,” she said.

For more information on Celebrate Birthdays, visit this website.