• By Laurel Kelly

In the Loop: Cy’s Place — a home away from home for families, in memory of one special little boy

May 14, 2019
In the Loop interviewees Randy and Ree Erickson, and their son Silas

Randy and Ree Erickson lost their son Silas to cancer in 2007, but his memory lives on in the way they live their lives: supporting families of children facing significant medical challenges.

When Randy and Ree Erickson's son Silas passed away in 2007 after a year-long battle with neuroblastoma, they felt like they had two choices: retreat into themselves or find a way to turn their pain into something positive. After a couple months of doing the former, Randy and Ree began work on the latter. They sold their home in North Dakota and relocated to Rochester, where they'd spent so much time during Silas's cancer treatments at Mayo Clinic. "It just felt like the right thing to do," Ree tells us.

Once in Rochester, Ree tells us it also felt right to apply for jobs at Mayo Clinic, where she works as a desk operations specialist in Urology and Randy, as a door attendant. "It's our way of giving back to Mayo for everything they did to help Silas," Ree says. "The people I see when I'm working at my desk may not know what's happened in my life, and I certainly don't know what's happening in theirs, but I do know that I can treat them the way that I would want to be treated if I was back in their shoes. I can show them love and compassion because I've been on the other side of that desk."

Randy and Ree's love and compassion for others isn't just contained within the walls of Mayo Clinic. It also extends to their home in Rochester. They've remodeled their walk-out basement into an apartment that serves as a sanctuary for families looking for a place to stay while their children receive care at Mayo Clinic. "We've seen many families come and go, and it's been exciting to get to meet these people and to have an impact in their lives," Ree says. "It gives us purpose in our own lives to try and help them like this."

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This story originally appeared on the In the Loop blog.