India and Henry Claudy lost their father Peter to colon cancer six years ago. Every year since then, the children have held an annual event to honor their father by bringing holiday cheer to other families afflicted by cancer.
With the help of their mother Tricia, Henry and India organize their event, which they call “Family 2 Family.” They recruit friends to join them in anonymously providing holiday gifts to families whose loved ones are patients at the Mass General Cancer Center.
Henry and India understand how difficult the holidays can be for these families. Working with Paula Rauch, MD, founding director of the Marjorie E. Korff PACT (Parenting At a Challenging Time) Program, the children match patients’ families with the families of their friends. In early December, the Claudys host a family dinner where wrapped gifts are readied for delivery.
2011 marked the event’s fifth year, and a record 55 families were matched. Henry, age 12, told the group, “Unselfish giving is the essence of our father, Peter, and an incredible way in which to honor him.”
India, age 10, added, “We hope that together we can bring some cheer to these families during a difficult time, and have fun doing it!”