By Pat Carragher - May 07, 2021
Being a nurse doesn’t always come with a typical 9-to-5 schedule. Along with night and weekend shifts, spending a holiday with your family isn’t always a guarantee. Michelle Rau, who works in Moffitt Cancer Center’s Immune Cell Therapy unit is lucky enough to spend this Mother’s Day with her family. In fact, she happens to spend every holiday with family. Rau’s daughters, Elizabeth and Molly, are both oncology technicians in the Bone and Marrow Transplantation Unit at Moffitt. Not only do they work on the same floor together, they even lined up their work schedules to make sure they never miss a day off together.
“I see them every weekend now which is perfect because since they moved out that wasn’t always the case,” said Michelle. “I buy them lunch because they’re broke college kids. Everyone in the cafeteria knows us because I’m always buying $25 meals.”
Michelle followed her sister’s footsteps into a career in nursing. Even with her own family’s connections to health care, she never thought any of her four children would choose the same career path. She was early on in her nursing career when she stepped away for 15 years to focus on her family. During that time she never shared stories from her old job, or even tried to push anyone towards the health care field.
“She basically put nursing on hold to raise us,” said Molly. “As we got older and were able to take care of ourselves more independently, she went back and renewed her nursing license. She loved nursing so much that the second we were able to feed ourselves and get to school, she went right back.”
When Michelle started working at Moffitt in 2017, Molly and Elizabeth started taking an interest in their mother’s line of work.
“I got my nursing license renewed and they would help me study,” said Michelle. “Then a few years ago, all of the sudden they both wanted to be doctors. I think we all just had a calling for it.”
Going into health care was not a unanimous decision for the four Rau children. Michelle’s son Tripp works in computer science, while her youngest daughter Lucy is currently in college hoping to pursue a career writing movie scores. For Elizabeth and Molly, the inspiration is apparent.
“We love health care and our mom is a big part of that,” said Elizabeth. “I always looked up to her and her heart and how she was with people. When we moved out and started working with her at Moffitt it was like the cherry on top.”
So how will the Rau’s be spending Mother’s Day? By making mom breakfast in bed.
“Our dad likes to make her breakfast, but he’s kind of bad at it, so we have to go supervise,” said Elizabeth. “He likes to undercook the bacon, but she likes crispy bacon so I’m in charge of making sure she doesn’t get soggy bacon.”
“I couldn’t be more blessed,” said Michelle. “They’re nice inside and out. They turned out to be beautiful people. They love medicine and they love Moffitt.”