For this week’s post, I’m going to introduce you to fellow Ronald McDonald House intern, Laine Isaacs. Laine was a former patient at Brenner Children’s Hospital and stayed at the House with her family while she was being treated for a brain tumor seven years ago. I have loved getting to know Laine and it’s been really fun having such a great person to work with every day. Next time you’re at the House make sure you say hello to her!
Kelsey: So Laine, how does it feel being back at the Ronald McDonald House this summer?
Laine: I’m really excited to be back! I wanted the opportunity to give back to a House that has been so great to me and my family. Also, there is such a great and knowledgeable staff that works here and I look forward to learning from them.
Kelsey: Is this your first time back since your stay at the House?
Laine: No it’s not. I have really enjoyed staying connected with the House after my stay here. I still volunteer when I can, I’m a member of the Family Advisory Council, and I was even involved in the groundbreaking ceremony when the new addition to the House began construction in 2008. It’s safe to say the House holds a very special place in my heart.
Kelsey: I can see why it would! So what led you to stay here in the first place?
Laine: In June 2005 I was diagnosed with a germinoma, a cancerous brain tumor and I began receiving radiation treatment at Brenner Children’s Hospital. Because my family lived in Boone, NC, we were able to stay at the House while I was receiving treatment.
Kelsey: What was your experience like staying at the House?
Laine: It was great. It was very welcoming and the staff was warm and informative. I was made to feel like family at a time when I needed it most.
Kelsey: What are some nice memories you have from your stay?
Laine: I remember breakfast being a very busy time at the House. In the mornings, the kitchen would be filled with families getting something to eat before heading over to the hospital and we would all take that time to check in and see how everyone was doing. Being back now, it makes me really happy to walk by the kitchen and see it filled with families chatting with one another.
Kelsey: What are some differences between your stay at the House back then and your summer here now?
Laine: Well the most obvious difference is the size of the House. The number of rooms has doubled since I stayed here in 2005. What I’ve noticed being back here is that even after the expansion, the warmth and love between families remains the same. I would have thought that the larger House size may have affected the families’ ability to bond and interact with each other, but that is not the case.
Kelsey: What sorts of things are you doing this summer while working at the House?
Laine: As a development intern, I’ll be gaining further knowledge in non-profit communications. So far, I have enjoyed being a part of BINGO nights on Mondays and working with the Friends’ Luminary Project.
Kelsey: That sounds great! Did you ever take part in BINGO nights while you were a guest here?
Laine: No, I never felt well enough to participating in BINGO night myself, but my mom did occasionally. I am very happy to be able to help out with it now and I’m so glad it is still available to families.
Kelsey: So after you leave the House this summer where are you headed?
Laine: I’m a student at Appalachian State University, so I will be moving back to Boone.
Kelsey: What are you studying at App?
Laine: I’m studying public relations.
Kelsey: Me too! What do you want to do after you graduate?
Laine: I would like to work for a non-profit. I would love to work for an organization like the Ronald McDonald House.
Kelsey: Me too! I guess it’s a good thing we are both interning here this summer!