The 10th annual Family Celebration Day drew nearly 400 people to the September 11 event at Kimball Farm in Westford, Massachusetts. Lori Savoy, mother of liver transplant recipient Lily — transplanted as a toddler — shares her memorable Family Day experience.

For the past nine years, our family has been coming to the Pediatric Transplant Center’s Family Celebration Day. One might think it’s just the excitement of the bumper boats or the smell of the freshly grilled burgers, but for our family, it is something much more meaningful.

We have met families through online support groups, hospital stays and visits to clinic, but Family Day allows us to catch up with our “transplant friends” in a much more causal and fun environment. It feels good to chat about sports, first days of school and growth to lab draws, medication issues or recent ER trips.

Lily with her brother Parker

In addition to seeing many of our fellow transplant families, we always look forward to seeing the doctors, nurses and staff, who we have grown to adore in a setting away from the hospital. None of us chose the life of transplant. These amazing professionals came into our lives amidst a time of fear, anger and desperation. It’s so great seeing them with their wives, husbands and children of their own. To connect with them on a more informal level makes our transplant team truly feel like a part of our family.

Family Day has been a favorite for years, for many reasons. Lily, now 11 years old, looks forward to working at the medical table with the child life specialists and our 13-year-old son, Parker enjoys trying to out-distance Dr. Kim at the driving range. The food is amazing, the activities plentiful, and we never leave disappointed. Thank you, Pediatric Transplant Center, for another memorable celebration!

Transplant coordinator Katie Garrigan, RN, CPNP; Lily; and one of her doctors, Rima Fawaz, MD

View more photos of the 2016 Family Celebration Day on Facebook.