If you have visited the front desk at Tichenor Clinic, you have seen Piggy. But do you know the story of how Piggy came to be??
In 2004, we had a patient who started in our Development Program after having been born at 24 weeks weighing 1 pound, 8 ounces. In her first year of life, she underwent two heart surgeries and G-tube insertion to enable her to eat. Starting in our program at 20 months old, she thrived, learning how to go down a slide during physical therapy and how to hold a pencil and write through occupational therapy. She also participated in speech-language therapy and our Rich Kempster Swim Program. Needless to say, Daniela and her family spent a lot of time at Tichenor.
But this story is about Alex, Daniela’s little brother. Alex was a preschooler and always accompanied Daniela to Tichenor. Alex was so appreciative of the clinic supporting his sister that he would collect any coins he found and bring them when visiting the clinic. Sometimes a nickel, sometimes two dollars! Whatever he brought would be put into a jar. Alex brought his donations consistently for an entire year when our staff decided it was time to gift Alex a piggy bank. When other children and families saw Alex dropping his coins and dollars in Piggy, they were motivated to give as well.
Piggy likes to get dressed up for special occasions. We’ll have to fashion him a backpack soon for the Back-to-School season!
Today, Alex is a middle schooler in advanced classes. His spirit of generosity and caring persist – he tutors a fellow student in math! And Daniela? She went on to transition from special education to a typical classroom in 5th grade, thanks to support her mother received in our Parent Support Group. She graduated from middle school with a GPA of 3.5 and returned to Tichenor in high school, this time as a volunteer in the swim program! And her goal is to become a physical therapist in order to help children like herself reach their full potential.
Tichenor Clinic for Children was founded on a bequest (a donation through a will) and continues to provide low- to no-cost pediatric therapy services 95 years later thanks to people like Alex and people like you. Your support changes lives!