GivingTuesday inspires thousands to defy cancer.

GivingTuesday inspires thousands to defy cancer.

For many, Thanksgiving weekend marks the start of the holiday season, with family gatherings and a spirit of gratitude in the air. Since 2012, GivingTuesday celebrates this special time of year by encouraging charitable giving on the Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. Dana-Farber and the Jimmy Fund participated again in 2023, with over 4,800 supporters across the country donating more than $1.7 million to The Dana-Farber Campaign to fund lifesaving research and care and further the Institute’s mission to defy cancer.

To inspire further giving, Arbella Insurance Group matched the first $50,000 in donations contributed that day.

GivingTuesday provides flexible funding that Dana-Farber deploys across the Institute to the most promising projects and most critical needs. Contributions help improve outcomes for patients like Tilly, who was featured during the campaign. Tilly was just 2 years old when she was diagnosed with an inoperable low-grade glioma in her spinal cord. Her parents were devastated, but upon bringing her to Dana-Farber, the family found little pieces of joy and gratitude during her time at the Jimmy Fund Clinic.

Throughout her treatment, Tilly enjoyed the opportunities to play and just “be a kid” at the Jimmy Fund Clinic, dressing in costumes, a different character for each of her weekly visits. Some days she would be Brucey the Monkey or Doctor Tilly. Some visits she would come dressed as a cow, or a unicorn, or even Elton John, and always with a box of doughnuts to share with the nurses and staff at the Jimmy Fund Clinic.

Tilly just turned 5 years old and is doing great. Her chemotherapy treatments slowed the tumor’s growth, and while she will continue to be monitored every 12 weeks for the foreseeable future, as of now her prognosis is good.

“Dana-Farber has become not just a place where Tilly gets treatment, llama cookies, and stickers, but also the place where she becomes the living proof,” said her father, Josh Danoff. “We have experienced the loss of so much, but we still have our daughter, she is still with us. And no matter how hard the day is, no matter what her physical challenges in her life may be, we will have another day, another opportunity for things to get better.”

All funds raised on this special day of giving help ensure that adults and children with cancer can go on to live, rich, fulfilling lives during and after treatment—even as a doctor, a monkey, or a glam rocker, like Tilly.

For more stories about the impact of philanthropy at Dana-Farber, please visit

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