BETHESDA, Md. (NEXSTAR) — For the third year in a row, first lady Melania Trump spent Valentine’s Day visiting more than a dozen young patients undergoing treatment for rare illnesses.
“Happy Valentine’s Day,” she wished the children, saying she always looks forward to seeing the patients at the Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
Lucy Wiese, 11, of Virginia, was the first to greet the first lady.
“I was a little nervous but it was fun,” Lucy said, adding the first lady asked how she was doing. “We made cookies… We just try and make things as fun as possible.”
“It’s really sweet,” Lucy’s mother Jan Wiese said.
Lucy was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease at the age of 3 and has gone to the Children’s Inn more than 30 times for treatment.
“There’s definitely harder things that we have to deal with when we come here, but it’s a wonderful escape (to have the first lady visit),” Jan Wiese said.
Parents say Melania Trump’s yearly visit helps bring awareness to the lifesaving medical research on which their kids rely.
“Maybe people can fund more to the Children’s Inn,” said Miguel Negrete, whose 10-year-old daughter Amber travels to the inn from California for treatment. “It’s so great what she does for the families.”
Amber has been at the inn for each of Melania Trump’s visits.
“We’re so grateful,” Leticia Negrete, Amber’s mom, said.
Before she departed, the children presented the first lady with art they made especially for her.