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