Meet Marissa – Our Talented, Aspiring Artist

MarissaAt 19 years old, Marissa received the terrifying news that she had two brain tumors. In search of the best medical care, her family traveled to MD Anderson Cancer Hospital, in the heart of the Texas Medical Center. With her home nearly 3 hours away, Marissa and her mom needed to stay at the Ronald McDonald House so they could be together while remaining close to the hospital.


While morning appointments were painful and exhausting, Marissa always looked forward to returning to the House in the evenings. She especially enjoyed when groups would host art activities because it allowed her to focus on other things besides tests and appointments. “It was so nice to be able to come back to a fun activity after spending all day in the hospital getting MRI’s, spinal taps, and waiting on doctors. It also helped a lot to see that I wasn’t alone and that there were other young people who could relate to the hard times I was going through.”


During one of the art days, Marissa created a beautiful drawing of Mogie, the House’s resident labradoodle. For Marissa, Mogie was always a loving comfort and warm reminder of her beloved dog back home, Cuddles. Today, Marissa has returned home but is continuing treatment in hopes of going into remission. She has founded her own graphic design company and her incredible rendition of Mogie will be the featured artwork for this year’s Holiday Cards.