Patients Celebrate Pig Day: A Jimmy Fund Clinic Tradition

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This post originally appeared on The Jimmy Fund Blog

By Erica Equi

Seven years ago, Martha Young, program manager of Patient and Family Education at Dana-Farber’s Jimmy Fund Clinic, met a young patient who shared her same unique love for pigs. Together, they discovered the seldom-celebrated holiday, National Pig Day, and came up with a creative idea they knew would bring smiles to patients at the Jimmy Fund Clinic.

Lisa Scherber and Martha Young from the Jimmy Fund Clinic dress in pink for the 2015 Pig Day.

Lisa Scherber and Martha Young from the Jimmy Fund Clinic dress in pink for the 2015 Pig Day.

On March 1, 2008 patients and their families walked into the Jimmy Fund Clinic thinking it was going to be a regular day, but were surprised by the pig-inspired festivities there waiting for them. Since then, Pig Day has become an annual Jimmy Fund Clinic tradition.

“It all started with a little pink folder, which I still have. [Pig Day] has become a silly tradition that we look forward to each year,” explained Young. “Everybody wears pink and the Dana-Farber cafeteria staff bakes a pig-themed cake big enough for everybody to enjoy.”

A cake made special for Pig Day.

A cake made special for Pig Day.

Each year, Young helps the patients plan all the activities and is always impressed by the exciting new ideas the patients bring to the celebration.

Patients enjoy a number of pig-inspired festivities throughout the day.

Patients enjoy a number of pig-inspired festivities throughout the day.

From the front desk to the infusion rooms, every inch of the Clinic is filled with pig décor chosen by patients like 9-year-old, Thomas Joffrin. Thomas, who was elected ‘Mayor of Pig Day’ in 2014, came up with the idea to play Pin the Tail on the Pig at this year’s celebration.

Pigs fill the Jimmy Fund Clinic on Pig Day.

Pigs fill the Jimmy Fund Clinic on Pig Day.

The collaborative effort between the patients and the doctors, nurses, and staff at the Jimmy Fund Clinic is what makes this day special for all involved.

Painting piggy banks is one of the festive activities patients enjoyed on Pig Day.

Painting piggy banks is one of the festive activities patients enjoyed on Pig Day.

“The entire Clinic comes together to celebrate this silly tradition. The patient who helped us plan the first Pig Day celebration is still involved in organizing the event. She gave us a unique gift that patients and families will be able to enjoy for years to come,” said Young.

Jimmy Fund Clinic staff dress up with pig ears and pink for Pig Day.

Jimmy Fund Clinic staff dress up with pig ears and pink for Pig Day.

To see all the photos from the celebration visit the Pig Day photo gallery.

Pig decorations fill the Jimmy Fund Clinic for Pig Day.

Pig decorations fill the Jimmy Fund Clinic for Pig Day.

Pig Day is funded in part by One Mission, a charitable foundation dedicated to enhancing the lives of pediatric cancer patients and their families. 

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