Connecticut Children’s Medical Center

PJ Day Raises Funds for Connecticut Children's Medical Center

PJ Day has raised over $650,000 over the years for Connecticut Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.

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Flannel, holiday sets, and onesies.

All thousands of Connecticut students had to do before going to school Friday was roll out of bed.

“It’s pretty fun and comfortable,” said Alyssa Sarubbi who is an eighth grader at John Wallace Middle School in Newington.

For $1 each, a group of Alyssa’s friends got to wear their reindeer pajamas while learning algebra and Spanish on Friday.

They said it’s a small price to pay, when they think about where that money’s going.

“My dad always tells me that people that don’t really choose to be in their pajamas that do have cancer, they’re in them all day,” Ella Stair, also an eighth grader, explained.

People like Hannah Forstell, who just 20 minutes away from John Wallace, has chosen to get through her day of treatment with music.

She sang “I’m Not The Only One” by Sam Smith in her room on the eighth floor of Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.

“I’m here to clear chemo. But sometimes it doesn’t always go as quickly as we would like,” said Hannah.

At 13, Hannah’s stopped counting the number of days she’s been in her pajamas.

“Being in your PJs all day is not as fun as it seems sometimes. Because sometimes, you just don’t feel good,” she explained.

Although she can’t be at school, knowing that others across the state are supporting people like her today gives her hope.

“It means that there are kids out there who realize that there are kids who are stuck here a lot, and they care about them.”

PJ Day has raised over $650,000 over the years for Connecticut Children’s Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders.

The fundraiser started back in 2011, when a little girl from Coventry named Charlotte was a patient at the hospital.  

Eight years later, Charlotte is healthy and cancer-free. In addition to over 400 schools, firefighters, police officers, religious organizations and employees at over 80 businesses and 180 Dunkin Donut locations are taking part.

“A long time ago this really shifted from being about her and about our family to being about all of the other kids out there,” said Tara Wesoloskie, Charlotte’s mom and the co-founder of PJ Day for the Kids.

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