A cheerleader for the Indianapolis Colts traded in her pompoms for a stethoscope after her physician parents were diagnosed with cancer within six months of each other. Lauren Madden, 29, became a registered nurse in 2014 after being inspired by the level of care her parents received while undergoing treatment, IndyStar reported.

“I was just like, ‘Lauren what are you doing with your life?’” Madden told IndyStar. “This is what you were called to do.”

Her mother Terri, a surgical tech who is now cancer free, has seen her daughter graduate and find her dream job at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health. Her father Tom, an ER doctor, died in 2012 before seeing Madden follow his footsteps into the ER department.  

“I go to work every day and think about him,” Madden told IndyStar. “Sometimes I’ll be at work and I’ll think, ‘Oh I wish I could tell my dad that, this funny story, or what would my dad do in this situation?’”

Madden knew she wanted to work at Riley after joining the Colts on their annual visits to the hospital to sing Christmas carols and hand out presents.

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On her last appearance with the team she mentioned to hospital staff that she was interested in working at the hospital and was already employed as an ER nurse at another hospital. A chief medical officer who overheard the conversation and knew of the Riley’s need for emergency department nurses so he called the ER manager to conduct an impromptu interview, IndyStar reported. She was called back for a second interview and given the job.

“I know medicine’s important in getting these kids better, but I think making that connection with them [makes a difference],” Madden told IndyStar, adding that giving toys from the secret treasure chest and sharing hugs is her favorite part of the job.