Madison Children's Museum Blog

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“The museum was our happy place during a dark time.” Read Sandy’s story.

When Sandy’s daughter Shannon became ill, the museum was a refuge for Sandy and her granddaughter Charlotte. Read their story below.

YEC 2017 web slider

Charlotte (middle) with her mother Shannon (left) and her grandmother Sandy (right).

The Madison Children’s Museum will always have a special place in my heart. I can still see my granddaughter Charlotte’s smile at the top of the rooftop waterfall. I can still see her writing “Get Well Mommy” in chalk. I can still see her joyful face during the most difficult time of our lives. The museum was our happy place.

Two years ago, my daughter Shannon was diagnosed with cancer. Nothing could have prepared me for the devastation of my child becoming critically ill, especially when there was nothing I could do to make her better. Shannon’s daughter Charlotte, my granddaughter, was only three years old.

2015_Sandy's photo_Charlotte on the rooftop.jpgCharlotte, Age 3, at the museum’s rooftop waterfall.

On the day of Shannon’s first chemotherapy treatment, Charlotte and I went to the children’s museum together for the first time. Her eyes lit up the moment we walked through the doors. She could paint on windows! And pet the chickens! And let her imagination run wild in a rocket ship! The museum was the refuge we needed. Being able to bring Charlotte joy brought me peace of mind. It was something I could do to help.

Visiting the museum became our tradition. Whenever Shannon was undergoing chemo, we visited together, to play, learn, and heal. And while the museum was saving Charlotte and me, the treatments were saving my daughter. Today, Charlotte is a happy five-year-old with a mother who is cancer-free.  And I am so grateful.

Madison Children’s Museum is more than a place for fun. It played an important part in our lives when we needed it most. The generosity of the museum’s supporters made our joyful experiences possible, and I am so glad to know the museum is there for other families too. Childhood should be joyful, and every child should benefit from this extraordinary place.

Families are dealt serious life challenges every day, and we all need a hopeful place to gather, play, and learn together. Please consider a generous gift to the museum this year.  Your gift will make a greater impact than you might ever imagine.

With gratitude,

Sandy Schroederus
Proud Grandmother and Mother

Do you have a story to tell? Share it with the museum by emailing

Give online today or to give by mail, fill out this form and mail to Madison Children’s Museum 100 N. Hamilton St Madison, WI 53703.

Please make checks payable to Madison Children’s Museum Foundation, Inc.

One comment on ““The museum was our happy place during a dark time.” Read Sandy’s story.

  1. Tony K
    January 18, 2018

    Madison children’s museum is wonderful Shannon’s story is so touching. Thank you!

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This entry was posted on November 22, 2017 by in Museum Happenings.

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