Seattle Children's Hospital is 'building hope' with new center

SEATTLE - Some of the toughest kids around have a new place to wage their war against cancer.

Seattle Children's Hospital's Cancer Center is expanding, and every aspect of the upgrade was designed with patients - and their families - in mind.

Nine-year-old Brandon Peterson has called Seattle Children's Hospital home since December. He loves sports, his Mariners and video games. He's like any ordinary kid - except he's fighting an extraordinary battle.

"He is in relapse - he has acute lymphoblast leukemia," says Brandon's mom, Stacy Peterson.

Flanked by family - and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson - Brandon helped open the doors to Children's new "Building Hope" center.

The unit focuses on cancer, critical and emergency care. It includes eight floors, 80 new rooms and 330,000 square feet of new space.

It's impressive by the numbers, but when you're a kid ...

"I really like the lights - the cool colored lights," says Brandon.

Teens at the hospital appreciate other improvements that matter more to them.

"It's sweet - it's huge. There's a nice TV and bathroom," says patient David Padilla of Olympia, who is living with bone cancer. He's the first to move into the center's new adolescent and young adult unit, which caters specifically to teens.

In all, several patients have already moved in. Between the private rooms, common areas and the color, former patients say, this is a whole new ballgame.

"It's all about those little things that really bring up your mood," says Heather Wick.

As for Brandon Peterson - it's not just the lights but the new view that has him feeling "cool," as he puts it.

The new building isn't just high-tech, it's also green. It's expected to use 47 percent less energy and 30 percent less water than similar sized hospitals in the region.