No parent should ever have to hear the words, “There’s nothing more we can do for your child.” But, Crystal Robb had to hear them not once, but twice. That was back in May 2010 when her then two year-old son, Isaiah, was diagnosed with several rare conditions, including incurable brain cancer (PNET).
Today, Crystal shared Isaiah’s journey in recognition of Childhood Cancer Awareness month.
Q: Isaiah is incredible, we all adore him at the House. How old was he when he was diagnosed with cancer, and how is he doing today?
A: Isaiah was 2 1/2 years old. Isaiah struggles everyday. He has very good days and very bad days.
Q: What is one thing about childhood cancer that is often not shared?
A: 46 children are diagnosed everyday. It is not rare and it can happen to anyone. The hard truth is not everyone gets a chance to grow up. When a child is diagnosed the whole family is diagnosed. It takes the love and support from all to make it through each day because we now in for the fight of our child’s life. When your child is diagnosed you have a whole new out look on life because you never know what tomorrow will bring or if tomorrow will even come.
Q: Coming from Pennsylvania, how did your family find out about the Ronald McDonald House of Providence?
A: Isaiah saw a surgeon at Hasbro and they told me about the house. I stopped to see the house that day unannounced and was welcomed in with open arms. I was amazed at what an amazing place it was. I never knew something like that existed.
Q: How has the House helped you as a mother?
A: It has given me some place to call “home” It truly is my home away from home. A place where I can keep Isaiah safe, happy and in his routine. It has given me a place to share my fears, worries, thoughts and concerns and have always been greeted with warm hearts and open ears. It has given me great emotional support and has made me feel not so alone being so far away from home. It gives me a place to relax and unwind after very long stressful days at the hospital and doctors offices.
Q: How has the House supported Isaiah in his fight against cancer?
A: The house has spoiled Isaiah. They have always treated Isaiah as if he is their own son. They have watched Isaiah grow up. They shown Isaiah love and support. From letting him work with the staff, hanging his art work in their offices, Isaiah being given little jobs around the house to make him feel important. His favorite is waling through the house with Sue. The sweet volunteers taking him under their wing having him help them with all their projects. They have given him a place to take his fears away, not worry, a home to play in and be a kid, a home to recover from surgery, test and procedures, a place to know that no one will hurt him, and most of all a place to call his home. Always being greeted with hugs, kiss, a toy, a surprise at his door. The house truly goes above and beyond to make sure Isaiah feels loved and at home.
Q: What is Isaiah’s favorite part about staying at RMH Providence?
A: Isaiah’s has a few favorite parts about being at the house. Lucy the therapy dog that visits the house is probably top on his list. Just like everyone else Lucy and Pete go out of their way and will visit Isaiah during his whole stay and just not on their visiting days. Isaiah loves doing crafts with Deb and Dick and baking with his Sunday morning volunteer. Isaiah has also taken a real liking to collecting soda tabs and turning them in with Nicole when his gets their. It is very hard for Isaiah to just pick one favorite has the Ronald McDonald House plays such a big part in his life. It all stays near and dear to his heart and he tells everyone about the house.
Q: I know Isaiah loves animals – what does he want to be when he is older – a vet?
A: Isaiah would like to be a hibachi chef when he grows up and work at an animal shelter so he can play with the dogs.