Choosing Children’s: Marilyn Quamme
“I grew up in a very small town in southeast North Dakota. After nursing school, I moved to the Cities and have been here ever since. I worked at an adult hospital for 8+ years and then moved to Minneapolis Children’s where I worked in surgery for 34+ years. I retired 7 years ago and have enjoyed spending my winters in Mesa, Arizona since then. I have always loved kids and thought I would someday volunteer at Children’s rocking babies. I believe in the mission of Children’s and was treated well as an employee so wanted to give back. Someone suggested I volunteer in the Surgery Family Waiting Room. It has been a good fit for me; I know what’s happening back in the OR and feel I can use my knowledge to help allay the fears of families. I love talking to the families and kids before they go into surgery, and I get to see lots of people I used to work with.
One of my most rewarding experiences happened this summer. A nine year old girl whose younger sibling was having surgery preferred to stay with me when her parents went to reunite with their other daughter. She asked if I had time to listen to a story, to which I replied ‘yes’. She was very animated when telling me about the book she was reading. When I had to tend to business, she would patiently wait for me, and pick up right where she left off. When it was time for them to go home, she wrote me a note that said, “Marilyn, you’re a great volunteer”, signed her name, and gave me a big hug. Moments like these make it all worthwhile, and the note still hangs on my refrigerator.”