Follow my journey from being overweight and addicted to ice cream, to running marathon's!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

We're going home

This will be my last post from here in Chicagoland. Today we go home!
It's hard to believe it's been 6 weeks since we arrived at the Ronald McDonald House.

Just in case anyone is reading for the first time, my 13 year old niece was diagnosed with a brain tumor the end of May. Her doctors wanted to send her here for radiation, because they have the best Proton center in the US. My nanny job had just ended, so it worked out perfectly for me to come along with them.

Kristin has done so good. She's had some hard days, but she has pushed through, and now the end is here.
 She will still have chemo in Louisville until next Spring, but the doctors were able to remove every trace of the tumor, and said she'll live a long, healthy life. We are so blessed!

 We've met a lot of kids here at the house who had the same kind of tumor that K had, who aren't nearly as lucky. Some of the kids cancer has spread to their spine, one who can no longer walk, and can't talk very well, one who possibly lost sight in one eye, I'm not real sure what his story is. An 11 month old baby who left right before we arrived, his cancer is incurable, and he only has months left to live, and many more.
 So many heartbreaking stories from this house.

But staying here has been wonderful. It truly is a home away from home. They do everything possible to make their guests comfortable, they give us whatever we need or want. They have closets filled with toys, crafts, all kinds of things for the kids (and their siblings) to pick out. Nice stuff too, not cheapo stuff.
We have meals, brunch, cookies- something every day provided by volunteers.
One of the volunteers said she is here twice a month, and there is over a 2 month wait just to be able to volunteer here! That is amazing!

We have really had a great time. We've done some fun things and gone to some neat places. We weren't able to go into Chicago (an hour from us) because that would require a lot of walking, and K doesn't like to do too much of that right now. We plan on making another trip next year when she's feeling all better and can really enjoy it.
 Of course, as I've said a million times, I've LOVED running here. I think I could run here every day of my life, and never run in the same place twice. There are that many trails and paths!

I want to say THANK YOU to those of you who have sent Kristin cards, had your kiddos draw pictures for her, even sent her packages. She was so impressed that my "running friends", who don't even know her, would send her things. Thank you all a million times.

Graduating from the Proton Center
6 weeks of radiation

Here's to tomorrow!!



  1. What a blessing! Safe travels back home :)

  2. Oh my gosh - all the stories of the people you meet... that makes you so thankful for where yours is going, huh? That 11 month old.. I want to cry. Bless them all.

    I hope you all get to help out in the local Ronald McDonald house here. It would be so awesome to help others out when you know how much it helped you.


  3. SO glad she is feeling better!! Best wishes to you all!!

  4. I'm so glad your niece is doing well. Thank you for sharing.

  5. So glad to hear that her tumor is gone and her prognosis is so good!

  6. So glad you are heading home and that things are looking up.

  7. What a journey! I am so pleased your niece has such a happy long life to look forward too. I bet it will make her appreciate and enjoy.her life even more!

    1. It has been a journey! I think something like this changes your whole outlook on life!

  8. I just started reading your blog a month or so ago and have loved to hear about your time there. You are lucky to be able to be there with your sister and niece, I know that meant the world to them. I'm so glad that she is doing so much better.

    1. Hi Heather! I am so glad everything worked out for me to be able to be with them. I wouldn't have wanted them to go through this alone. Getting to spend 6 weeks with them was wonderful!


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