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Halloween traditions for St. Jude families


Halloween is a fun time of year for the whole family, whether it's carving pumpkins, trick-or-treating or telling stories about ghouls and ghosts. See how St. Jude patients celebrated at home and at the hospital in 2019.


Getting candy

Tyler and his sisters love picking out pumpkins as a family and going trick-or-treating together. When he was in treatment, Tyler got a kick out of getting candy from his doctors and nurses. When asked what his favorite part of Halloween is, Tyler didn’t have to think about it. “Candy,” he said.

St. Jude patient Tyler in a Luigi costume with his family during Halloween
St. Jude patient Reid with his little sister in a costume during Halloween


“We have so much fun with Halloween. Our neighborhood has a fall gathering where the kids and families all eat and play until it is dark,” Reid’s mom said. “Then we walk as a neighborhood to everyone’s house for trick-or-treating. When Reid was in treatment in 2015, we went straight from an MRI to the halls of St. Jude so he could trick or treat.”


Dressing up

Quincy and his family love Halloween and kick off the season by decorating their yard with spider webs and scary spiders. “On Halloween, we play scary music and Quincy’s dad purposely lets the grass overgrow, so the yard looks creepy,” said Karla, Quincy's mom. Quincy’s family also does several trick-or-treat events at local churches and finishes the evening by going trick-or-treating in their neighborhood. Some of Quincy’s favorite costumes include a Houston Texans’ football player and Bumblebee.

St. Jude patient Quincy in a costume during Halloween
St. Jude patient Slater with his family during Halloween

Finding the perfect costume

“We love dressing up in costumes,” Slater’s mom said. “And we love doing costumes as a family!” Slater and his brother, Sawyer, love costumes so much that during one of Slater’s checkups at St. Jude in 2019, they debuted their Halloween costumes for that year: Mario and Luigi. 


Candy, and lots of it

Aubrey’s family loves to do family costumes. In 2017, while Aubrey was at St. Jude, they dressed up as stick people. The following year, they went as The Incredibles® and last year, they dressed up as characters from Ghostbusters. At home, Aubrey loves to dress up and collect candy. Her family orders pizza and then hands out candy. At St. Jude, Halloween was also fun. “The kids loved seeing the different areas of the hospital with their own themes,” said Aubrey’s mom. “Aubrey and her sister got so much candy.”

St. Jude patient Tyler in a Luigi costume with his family during Halloween
St. Jude patient Claire with her family dressed up during Halloween

Dressing up as a family

“Our family loves to dress up and go trick-or-treating. We also have a huge cider-pressing party at our home," Claire’s mom, Jayne, said. "We have nine apple trees, so each fall we host a cider party where the community can come and use our presses and enjoy fresh cider and donuts and roast s'mores." In 2018, Claire was undergoing treatment, so her family celebrated at St. Jude. “Claire wasn't feeling well enough to get out of bed, but every department in the hospital came to her, fully costumed and bringing treats,” said Jayne. “It was a Halloween to remember, for sure. I'm so grateful that the hospital goes to such lengths to bring joy to these awesome kids.”


Scary good time

Calvin's favorite thing about Halloween is trick-or-treating, no matter the weather. “He also loves to scare the little kids when they come to our house for candy,” Calvin’s mom said.

St. Jude patient Calvin with family dressed up during Halloween

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