I can still vividly remember the time the letter and pictures of my host family arrived in 1983 and the waiting and excitement began. I was welcomed and treated as one of the family, and visited many places, which as a child from Northern Ireland, I could only have dreamt about. The experiences and confidence gained, and encouragement received have lasted down the years.
I still keep in contact with my host family and their children. My family visited my home in Belfast and I have been back to their home during my medical student training and more recently as a Doctor attending an International Conference.
I am married with three small children and I am now completing my training as a Radiation Oncologist at the Northern Ireland Cancer Centre in Belfast. The influence and encouragement received from my family have helped shape where I am today and I hope I can pass this onto my growing family.
Dr. Claire Harrison, March 27, 2011