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I Will Always Remember My 15th Birthday

“Families are the compass that guide us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.” » Brad HenryToday, we’re bringing you a blog written by a former resident at RMHC Seattle, Krystyne Soderstrom. Reposted with permission from 

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

The best way to help RMHC and the families they support is to make a donation. 

Please give generously today. 

With love and gratitude, 

Krystyne Soderstrom

Gotta Catch ‘Em All

Are you playing the new Pokemon Go app? We’ve discovered that a great place to catch critters is along the Burke Gilman Trail. The trail features lots of pokestops and pokemon (although be alert for other joggers and bikes on the trail). More importantly: the park next to the Ronald McDonald House is a gym in the… Continue Reading

Volunteer Spotlight: University Lodge #141

The University Lodge #141 Freemasons have been a fixture at the University District Street Fair. Over the last 5+ years, the Lodge members can be found selling balloons for kids – and they donate the profits from their sales to charity. This year, we were so grateful to be the recipients of their generosity. The group found the… Continue Reading

GiveBIG Extended Until 5/4

  If you’ve been having difficulty donating for GiveBIG, you’re not alone! The site has been down for the majority of the day. It’s been a frustrating experience for everyone – and we thank you for your patience as the Seattle Foundation and their partners (donation service Kimbia) have been working on a technical solution. The Seattle… Continue Reading

Volunteer for the Color Run!

The Color Run returns to Seattle on May 8th. This 5k fun run promises to be a good time, thanks to colored paint throws, colored foam zones, and even a Rainbow Beach party at the end of the finish line. If all of that sounds like your idea of paradise, join us as a volunteer!… Continue Reading

Volunteer Spotlight: Coffee Cart

In honor of National Volunteer Week, we’re posting about a volunteer program you may not know about – our Coffee Hour with Seattle Children’s Hospital. Every other Wednesday at 3pm, regular RMHC volunteers Steve & Ann Moll take the Frog Elevator to the 6th floor of Seattle Children’s Hospital, where they greet anyone who wants… Continue Reading

Family Spotlight: The Lovealls

Six year old Elijah loves math, even though he’s just started kindergarten. “Hey Elijah, what’s 49 + 51?” asks his dad. The blonde kid with wide blue eyes takes a moment to think it over. “100!” he shouts, after figuring it out. “Nine plus one is ten, and four plus five is 9…” He goes… Continue Reading

Caleb Throws Out the Puck at Hockey Challenge 2016

Caleb and his family were on the ice on Saturday at the ShoWare Center to drop the puck for the Seattle Thunderbirds vs. Everett Silvertips game! Here’s a photo of the moment everyone was waiting for during Hockey Challenge 2016: the puck drop! Be sure to also check out the latest video of Caleb and… Continue Reading

Interview with a Hockey Captain: Jackie Soo

Jackie Soo got involved with the Hockey Challenge because of her passion for the sport. A natural athlete and Canadian, she has been playing hockey for over 18 years and skating since she was a child. She’s skated with the Hong Kong Women’s Team in several tournaments, and played locally against visiting teams from all… Continue Reading

Meet Caleb: Hockey Challenge Kid Captain

Meet Caleb: Hockey Challenge Kid Captain

Caleb is a seven year old kid who loves Star Wars, Angry Birds, Minecraft, and funny cat videos. His life in Richland, WA was ordinary until two weeks after his parents Ben and Sarah took him to a well-child visit. That’s when their lives changed forever – they found a tumor in his nose, about… Continue Reading

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At Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington & Alaska, we support seriously ill children and their families. At the Seattle House, we provide a "home-away-from-home" to help families through a difficult time. We also provide a van service for families staying in Anchorage while their children receive medical care. Our IRS tax number or EIN is: 91-1061043.

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