I am sure most of you know of or even have personal experience with the Ronald McDonald House. If not though, the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) exists to make the lives of families with sick and critical children easier. They do this by providing a space for parents to sleep, eat and recover mentally and physically while their children are hospitalized.
This is a huge help because gas to and from the hospital adds up very quickly, driving after not sleeping is dangerous as well as stressful and parents of hospitalized children should not have to endure that extra stress when they are in such a life altering situation. In 2016, the RHMC provided 2.4 million overnight stays to families, and want to provide 12,500 more overnight stays to families of sick children this year.
I am so thankful that I have not personally needed the help of the RHMC, my kids are healthy and I know we are blessed to go to sleep at night with our children just feet away. That said, last Summer our family went through a very scary experience as Jake’s nephew, Nathan, had a horrible accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury that looked deadly.
He had to spend 43 very long days at Riley Children’s Hospital. As you can imagine, on top of watching their child fight for his life, Jacob and Shelena had to travel a lot, sleep very little and operate on survival mode. Given that Jacob and Shelena’s second son is autistic, life was demanding a lot from the both of them. From keeping things as normal as possible for Nathan’s little brother to making sure they were always at the hospital to advocate for Nathan, which they had to do a lot of.
Nathan was in extremely critical condition for what felt like a lifetime. It was a roller-coaster of emotions for everyone, as you can imagine. Thankfully, he did eventually miraculously recover from what doctors told his parents was a death sentence. Nathan was able to fight his way out of the hospital, walk out on his own two feet and he is back home with his family where he belongs.
In Shelena and Jacob’s circumstance, the RMHC was unavailable for various reasons but it would have been a huge blessing for them to be able to have it as an option while Nathan recovered. The Ronald McDonald House allows parents to stay close to their children who are in critical condition while also keeping the rest of their family intact. This creates more of a stress free environment in which parents are able to decompress as much as possible, process information in a calm setting and find some comfort during what is probably the worst thing they will ever go through.
As parents in a situation like Jacob and Shelena’s, plus countless other families across the nation, it’s so important to understand why the RMHC is not merely helpful. This charity and it’s ability to provide help is a necessity.
Donating can help the Ronald McDonald house to help so many families, so before you head off of the blog, please make sure to check out the video of Jake learning to juggle to help bring awareness to RMHC. We would love to see you try as well and raise awareness with us!
The Ronald McDonald House would have made a tremendous difference in the lives of Jacob and Shelena while Nathan recovered. Nothing can take away the pain or stress of having a child in critical condition, but there are ways to take some of the burden off of these parents. We who are blessed enough to have our children sleeping under our roof can help those who don’t by donating to Ronald McDonald House Charities and ensuring they can continue to help families and reach their goal of providing solace for at least 12,500 more overnight stays to families of sick children this year.
Tell me below, have you been a parent to a critically ill child? Do you have experience with the Ronald McDonald House?