I Will Always Remember My 15th Birthday
Today, we’re bringing you a blog written by a former resident at RMHC Seattle, Krystyne Soderstrom. Reposted with permission from RMHC.org.
On June 30th, my family and I celebrated the 4th anniversary of the day I finished my cancer treatments and left the Seattle Ronald McDonald House. We felt so lucky to be offered a room at the House, but even luckier when we got to go home three months later.
I had just turned 15 when I started my treatment for Hodgkin Lymphoma Stage 2A with bulk disease at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Being away from home, school, and my friends was tough. But the fact that my parents were able to take turns staying with me at the House helped a lot. My sister Virginia came to visit each Saturday when my parents switched places. I will always be grateful to Ronald McDonald House Charities and donors like you for keeping us close during that difficult time.
Knowing we had a great, affordable place to stay right near the hospital was a huge relief for our family. I remember being thankful I didn’t have to worry about where we would stay or whether we could afford it. I was able to focus on trying to get better and keeping up with my school work. I was determined not to fall behind in school because of my illness.
We met some great people at the House. My mom appreciated all the different groups that came to cook meals for the families. She even knew one group through work and it meant so much to her that they always looked in on me. My dad offered to help out with small repairs around the House and got to know some of the volunteers. Many of them had been House guests when their own children were ill, and this was their way of giving back.
I can relate to wanting to give back. That’s a big part of why I’m studying to be a nurse. Eventually, I hope to work with pediatric cancer patients. I understand how those kids are feeling when they act out or get scared, so I could help them calm down and cope with their feelings. That’s how I’d like to repay all the kindness and care that people showed me and my family when I was ill. So for now, just like when I was at the Ronald McDonald House, I’m going to keep focusing on my school work
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With love and gratitude,