Emily Clift, occupational therapist assistant, helps patient Donna Little wrap a gift for the child.

Therapists at Mayfair Village Nursing Care Center in Columbus, Ohio, have a tradition of exchanging Christmas gifts.


For Christmas 2017, however, the rehab team decided to forgo the usual gifts and instead use the money to support James, a 4 year old in his second year of a minimum three-year course of treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Emily Clift, occupational therapist assistant at Mayfair, was connected to James’ family while her nephew Dominique was undergoing treatment at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.


The therapists involved some of their patients by taking two of them to shop for gifts for the child as a community re-integration activity. Among the presents were a train and LEGO set, as well as gift cards for gas and food to assist the family with treatment expenses. One of the residents even bought him a bed tent.


Once the gifts were brought back to the building, several patients helped wrap them during their therapy sessions.


“All of the residents involved expressed joy in sharing such a meaningful experience while also working in therapy,” said Melissa Van Allen, director of rehab.


Clift took the wrapped presents to her family, who put them under the tree. The boy’s mother texted Clift, “Thank you dearly. I am speechless! I promise you could not have made our family any happier! Thanks for completing our Christmas.”