CBS4 News is featuring a special series of reports this holiday season called the 12 Days of Christmas. The following story is written by CBS4’s Mark Haas.
AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – It’s a Tuesday morning at Children’s Hospital Colorado and inside the Seacrest Studios, Aidan Rhodes is hosting his weekly music production show.
“I do a lot of music production,” said Aiden. “I have always loved it and it is ingrained in my soul.”
But there’s one thing the 15-year-old from Centennial certainly does not like.
“I do not like the hospital. It is not a pleasant experience most of the time.”
Aidan’s mom, Jessie Rhodes, says her son is a happy and charming teenager, despite his life getting off to a rough start health-wise.
“He (Aidan) was born two months early and had health issues,” Rhodes said. “He was diagnosed with autism when he was two, and he is on the high end of the spectrum and he has Asperger (syndrome). That’s the main reason we are here, but he has other things going on, too.”
Aidan and his mom are at Children’s about once a week, for therapy, check-ups and tests, and Jessie says getting to stop at the studio on the way out has made a huge difference.
“We have used this as a reward,” Rhodes says about Aidan getting to host his music show. “A few months ago it took him four hours to get through a blood draw, but this last one took us just 15 minutes, and he was calm and happy and it is a huge deal.”
The studio is run by manager Chris Coleman and child life specialist Cody Hudson.
“Child life is a unique role,” Hudson said. “Our job is to use play and knowledge of development to help kids understand and cope with being in the hospital.”
Coleman says they’ve had many parents like Jessie tell them that the studio has changed how their kid views a trip to the hospital.
“They will get immersed in the experience and the technology and the fun of being on TV and the radio,” Coleman said. “They go from scared to absolutely elated.”
The studio goes by the call letters BBOY-45, and is broadcast in-house to every room on multiple hospital campuses throughout Colorado.
The studio’s daily programming lineup includes music, games, contests and the kid-hosted shows.
“Kids host shows about sports, music, video games, pop culture, bugs, you name it,” said Coleman.
The studio’s Wall of Fame shows off some of the celebrities that have stopped by, including Broncos players, Ed Sheeran, Nick Jonas, Phillip Phillips, Missy Franklin and Gavin Degraw, among others, but it is the kids who are the biggest stars.
“Kids feel confident in here, they feel comfortable in here. They know this is their place,” said Hudson. “When they walk in we know their name, and if we don’t we learn their name, and they are the superstar.”
And that’s why Aidan, the teenager who hates coming to the hospital, now says this:
“It makes it awesome, I mean that’s why this place is incredible.”
The Ryan Seacrest Foundation provided the initial funding to build the studios, but each hospital is responsible for the day-to-day and year-to-year costs of running it. To help support the BBOY-45 Seacrest Studio in Colorado:
Donate online at: childrenscoloradofoundation.org/donate and list “Seacrest Studios” in the box labeled Donation Instructions.
Or, checks can be sent to:
Seacrest Studio Fund
c/o Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation
13123 E Colfax Ave B-045
Aurora CO 80210