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National Grateful Patient Day - September 7


National Grateful Patient Day on September 7th provides an opportunity to show appreciation for the hard-working professionals in the medical industry. The day also focuses gratitude toward the families/caregivers of anyone receiving life-giving medical care. Additionally, the day honors the indomitable spirit of these courageous patients who are grateful to be alive.    

As a force, gratefulness offers the power of hope. The gift of gratitude provides a spark of energy to the recipient. However, it also inspires anyone who hears the story. The healing spark of hope told from the perspective of a grateful patient – this day involves everyone who has ever felt a healing touch.

HOW TO OBSERVE #GratefulPatient Day

The day encourages Grateful Patients to visit www.gratefulpatient.org. There, they may begin sharing their inspirational stories of hope. Patients may take a moment on September 7th to thank their families, doctors or nurses. Others a patient may want to show gratitude toward includes the medical researchers/pharmaceutical companies who played a critical role in their recovery. Send a note or email. Some will even make a phone call. Also, post on social media using #gratefulpatient.


As an NFL player, Rolf Benirschke faced a battle on the field every Sunday. But more importantly, he fought his own personal battle with ulcerative colitis, ostomy surgery, and Hepatitis C—from his numerous blood transfusions. It nearly cost him his life. He emerged as a grateful patient, dedicating his life to patient advocacy. Rolf became passionate about encouraging research and innovation related to future therapies.

September 7, 1980, was Rolf’s improbable and nearly impossible comeback to the NFL after his illness. His two field goals and four extra points contributed to the Chargers 34-13 win over the Seattle Seahawks.

The Registrar at National Day Calendar proclaimed Grateful Patient Day in 2017 to be observed September 7th annually.

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