Garth Brooks and Troy Aikman help give sick kids a true getaway

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by JIM DOUGLAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaajdouglas

WFAA

Posted on May 15, 2012 at 7:31 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 25 at 2:55 AM

FORT WORTH -- Children facing the biggest challenge of their lives got a boost from some of the biggest names in sports and entertainment.

Kids at Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth sang along Tuesday with Garth Brooks, Troy Aikman and local country star Sonny Burgess.
 
Brooks and Aikman sang to dedicate the new "Child Life Zone."  It is a getaway for kids with the most to get away from.

It was a treat for eight-year-old cancer patient Hayden Singleton, who got to interview both superstars.

"What songs do you think we should have on our jukebox?" Hayden asked Brooks. 

"I think you should have a lot of Garth Brooks on there, and a lot of Trisha Yearwood... I think you're good!" Brooks said to a big laugh from a crowd of parents, patients and hospital workers.
 
The Teammates Foundation with Brooks and Aikman helped fund the Child Life Zone. It has lots of standard entertainment -- like a pool table and arcade games -- plus a professional recording and TV studio.

"I had to be 50 and have a record deal before I got something like this," Brooks said, with a touch of envy.
 
Patients can make their own music videos after composing and recording their own music, or they can focus on TV shows. Pros will help them do it.

"If a kid is in isolation, we can put a camera in their room,” said studio designer Shawn Griffith. “Pipe it down to us. Put them in a show."

About $1.1 million in donations paid for the Child Life Zone. When it officially opens in June, young patients will be able to come down and pretend they're Garth Brooks (or anyone else they want to be).

The zone provides therapy doctors can't provide.

To celebrate it, Aikman and Brooks spent hours visiting with patients who may have to be in the hospital -- but can also be "in the zone."

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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