When you are 900 miles from your home, sitting in a room in the hospital, hearing that a mass was discovered in your chest and it’s Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, the first thing that pops into your head, is ‘why me?’
Soon after, when you find out that you have six months of chemotherapy and radiation ahead and that basically you have to relocate to get the best care, you think, ‘how?’
How am I going to fight?
How am I going to get better?
How am I going to keep up with my friends?
How is my family going to be there for me?
Not long after I started treatment, the social worker at the hospital had the answer. The Ronald McDonald House.
Just steps away from Janeway Children’s Hospital, the House and its caring staff and volunteers, gave me and my family what we needed most. A place to call home; to get home-cooked meals; to rest after yet another long day at the hospital; to find strength.
I’m not going to say being there and being sick was my favorite experience of junior year, but I will always cherish what the House gave me: hope, laughter when I needed it most, support, and the kind of unbreakable bond with my Dad that I never expected.
I’m actually back at the House now. My cancer came back this fall, and I’m going through treatments once again. The doors of the House and the hearts of it staff and volunteer were once again wide open.
It’s wonderful to have this place. And I’m so thankful that my parents will continue to be by my side, helping me fight.