WHY Me & Sherry’s House

When I walked into Sherry’s House the first day of my internship, I knew I was home. I was greeted by a big black lab who sat on my feet. One of my officemates said she loved my smile and outfit. One of the little girls living there was sitting on the couch watching TV and asked if I was there to play with her.

(To rewind a little bit: This semester, I am fulfilling my internship requirement of my Human Services major. I am the Family Services & Special Events Intern at WHY ME & Sherry’s House. It is a non-profit that provides support for families with childhood cancer. We provide housing for families undergoing treatment, but many other outreach activities such as support group, family fun events, and oncology clinic visits. I visit patients at the oncology clinic in Worcester, spend time with the families living at Sherry’s House, attend support group meetings, and plan for special events.)

Throughout these past 7 weeks, I have experienced such a wide range of emotions.

I have experienced respect from the people who work there, and treat me like I am one of their co-workers and an aspiring young professional, not just “the intern”. I feel trusted by the staff; that I can follow through with a task, and am given the freedom to use my creativity in whatever that task is.

I have held a little girl in my arms whose bones I could feel on my lap, but knew how to JuJu on That Beat better than any college student I know. She gave me endless hugs, always asked to be tickled, and pretended to be a SuperHero when I lifted her to put away donations in the pantry. The bond we formed in just a few weeks is something words could never express, and just makes my heart want to explode with joy. I know that I have found my purpose & vocation in life; this is more than just a career. But, I have learned more from her than she could have learned from me. She is resilient and full of life, even though she may not have many months of it left.I have experienced heartbreak from seeing my buddy move, but relentless joy from the memories we shared.

I have experienced support from the community of families. The parent-to-parent support group gives families the opportunity to meet up with each other once a month to share a meal with other members of the pediatric oncology community. They all have different stories and are at different parts in their journey, but they have become a family through it all. They have a space to share their experiences and learn from each other. But, they are not defined by their diagnosis. During Vacation Camp Days, the kids had a chance to just be kids and do fun activities together. We had an aquarium bring a touch tank, followed by aquatic crafts. The kids did a Paint Nite, decorated cupcakes, and watched “The Secret Life of Pets”. When two sisters bring their stuffed animals dressed up in PJs and tell you that they planned their entire Feb Vacation around this, that’s when you know. (I don’t even know what you know. There are no words to describe the community!)

PLEASE CHECK OUT THE WHY ME & SHERRY’S HOUSE BLOG ABOUT OUR FEBRUARY VACATION CAMP EVENTS!!! –> https://whyme.org/family-posts/february-vacation-fun-camp/ 

I am on my spring break now, but will be excited to get back to planning for the Easter Egg Hunt and visiting my new friends at the oncology clinic. Please keep all my warriors in your thoughts & prayers! ❤

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