First lady makes Valentine’s Day art with pediatric patients

Melania Trump
First lady Melania Trump, left, reacts as she sees Amber, 9, of San Jose, Calif., during her visit to the National Institutes of Health to see children at the Children’s Inn in Bethesda, Md., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, and to celebrate Valentine’s Day. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (AP/Susan Walsh)
Melania Trump
First lady Melania Trump fills a box with candy with the help of Amber, 9, of San Jose, Calif., during her visit to the National Institutes of Health to see children at the Children’s Inn in Bethesda, Md., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, and to celebrate Valentine’s Day. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (AP/Susan Walsh)
Melania Trump
First lady Melania Trump talks with Josue during her visit to the National Institutes of Health to see children at the Children’s Inn in Bethesda, Md., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, and celebrate Valentine’s Day. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (AP/Susan Walsh)
Melania Trump
First lady Melania Trump places a heart on the wall of “My Favorite Things” during her visit to the National Institutes of Health to see children at the Children’s Inn in Bethesda, Md., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, to celebrate Valentine’s Day. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (AP/Susan Walsh)
Melania Trump
First lady Melania Trump, center, helps to fill candy boxes during a visit to the National Institutes of Health to see children at the Children’s Inn in Bethesda, Md., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, to celebrate Valentine’s Day. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (AP/Susan Walsh)
Melania Trump
First lady Melania Trump, right, looks at her handmade snow globe as she sits next to Abigail, left, during a visit to the National Institutes of Health to see children at the Children’s Inn in Bethesda, Md., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, to celebrate Valentine’s Day. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (AP/Susan Walsh)
Melania Trump, Amani
First lady Melania Trump is presented with a bouquet of flowers from Amani, 13, of Mombasa, Kenya, during her visit to the National Institutes of Health to see children at the Children’s Inn in Bethesda, Md., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, and celebrate Valentine’s Day. Amani also presented the first lady with a necklace that matched his bracelet. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (AP/Susan Walsh)
Melania Trump, Amani
First lady Melania Trump talks with Amani, 13, of Mombasa, Kenya, during her visit to the National Institutes of Health to see children at the Children’s Inn in Bethesda, Md., Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019, and celebrate Valentine’s Day. Amani presented the first lady with a necklace that matches his bracelet. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (AP/Susan Walsh)
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Melania Trump
Melania Trump
Melania Trump
Melania Trump
Melania Trump
Melania Trump
Melania Trump, Amani
Melania Trump, Amani

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) — Melania Trump showed love for her new hometown during a Valentine’s Day arts-and-crafts session with pediatric patients Thursday.

At a station where children wrote their “favorite things” on construction paper hearts, the first lady went with “My favorite city is Washington.” She signed the heart with her name and stuck it on a board on a wall in the middle of several other hearts.

During the visit to The Children’s Inn on the campus of the National Institutes of Health outside Washington, she also helped make candy boxes — and assisted a line of children in filling them up with a variety of sugary treats — and snow globes.

Amani, a 13-year-old boy from Mombasa, Kenya, showed her how to turn a wooden clothespin into a colorful clip.

“This is a big project,” Mrs. Trump said. Amani has sickle cell disease and is preparing for a bone marrow transplant, the White House said. The first lady told Amani that she will pray for him. He presented her with a red heart-shaped box that held a silver necklace with “Hope & Faith” inscribed on a silver circle.

The first lady later wrote on Twitter that she “Loved sharing an afternoon with such sweet valentines! Your bravery, strength, and love is amazing.” She thanked The Children’s Inn and NIH for their “lifesaving work.”

The Children’s Inn is a private, nonprofit residence for children and families participating in pediatric research at NIH. The first lady was at the inn on Valentine’s Day last year when she was informed by her staff of a shooting at a south Florida high school that killed 17 people.

She was greeted Thursday by Amber, 9, of San Jose, California. Amber, who participates in a gene therapy trial, was among the children with whom Mrs. Trump spent time during last year’s visit.

Mrs. Trump is focusing her work as first lady on the well-being of children.

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Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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