Grown Up and Giving Back: Katie’s Story

Grown Up and Giving Back: Katie’s Story

For years, the Ronald McDonald House® has been a place for families to be near their loved ones who are seeking medical attention at the local hospitals. Families come from all around the world to stay at this wonderful place, including mine. My name is Katie Kintop. I am a Senior Marketing Major at Kent State University and I am currently the Marketing and Communications Intern for the Fall 2020 semester at Ronald McDonald House®. I am so honored and excited to be giving back to the place that gave my family so much in the past. Here is my story.

In August of 1998, I was born with a medical condition called Craniosynostosis, meaning the bones in my skull joined together too early.  At 2 weeks of age, I had to have surgery to correct the issue and during that time, my parents had the opportunity to stay at the Ronald McDonald House in Cleveland. This was a blessing to my family since at the time we lived an hour from the hospital, but the Ronald McDonald House was just minutes away making it easy to get to me quickly.

I loved the closeness between families there. Knowing that other families were also going through a hard time and I wasn’t alone gave me a sense of hope. We spent a lot of time in the reading area, and the garden outside. They were the quietest and most relaxing areas, almost like a small escape from reality.

Cindy Kintop, Katie's mother

The Ronald McDonald House gave my family what they needed when I was in the NICU post-surgery, and because of this I will forever be grateful. Now, I am a very happy and healthy 22-year-old preparing to graduate from Kent State University in the spring. My mom and I go to local elementary schools and our church to share our story and ask people to collect their pop tabs for us to take to the House to donate.

Two or three times a year we make the trip loaded with boxes, sometimes a shopping cart, full of pop tabs thanks to the generosity of family, friends, and strangers. It is an absolute honor to be able to give back to this organization the way they gave to my family.  I plan on continuing to serve this organization for years to come.

To learn more about the various internship opportunities available at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northeast Ohio, please click the button below.