Ronald McDonald House: A Place to Recharge When Your Child is Facing Medical Challenges

Thank you, McDonald’s for sponsoring this paid post to help @RMHC #KeepingFamiliesClose at times when children need their families the most.

LEE EN ESPAÑOL CON UN CLICK AQUI!

As the mother of a child who was diagnosed as medically fragile at birth, I understand firsthand the painful experience of having to watch your child through the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit window. It is extremely hard to leave every night when what you really want to do is stay plastered to that glass trying to monitor each of his breaths and his tiny movements. In my case, I was lucky enough to be close to home and to have transportation available, but that is not the case for millions of families whose children need to stay at the hospital for weeks and even months due to significant medical challenges or illness.  In those cases, Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) is there to help.

Many people may have heard about it but they don’t know RMHC is actually much more than just the Ronald McDonald House. This amazing organization helps families stay together through the Ronald McDonald House which, by being just steps away from the hospital is able to provide comfort, support, and resources for families whose children have to stay in the hospital. For those families who can’t or don’t want to leave the building, the Ronald McDonald Family Room is an option that gives moms and dads a place to recharge, eat, shower, and rest, without going far from their child. The resource that I love and I have experienced personally along with my kids is Ronald McDonald Care Mobile which can often be found in the community at family-friendly events bringing medical, dental and healthcare resources directly to children near their home or school as a way to prevent illness and help them stay healthy.

In the case of those who benefit from the House and the Family Room, RMHC can literally be a lifesaver by opening its doors to families that are far from home, have no transportation, or need shelter due to other special and unique circumstances. It provides a place to recharge during one of the most draining and rough moments in the life of a parent. And for that, I want to share the experience of a good friend of mine. Fernando Paz is the father of twin preemies and he stayed at Ronald McDonald House for several weeks after he learned his twins were not strong enough to breathe by themselves. In his own words, “Ronald McDonald House is a place where I never imagined to be but the best place I could have ever imagined to end at in those difficult and unexpected moments.”

To add context and give you an idea of how many people RMHC helps every year, I was surprised to learn that in 2016, alone, RMHC provided 2.4 million overnight stays to help families like Fernando’s stay together. This is all thanks to the free services provided by the Ronald McDonald House and Ronald McDonald Family Room Programs.

McDonald’s believes that families are better together so, to support RMHC and their commitment to achieving this goal, they are launching a national fundraiser from 11/7 to 11/19, in which consumers will be able to donate $1, $3 or $5 at their local McDonald’s to help RMHC keep families together when a child needs medical care and the treatment takes them far from home. Find your closest McDonald’s store using this link!

Please, donate! A dollar can make a big difference to ensure families of children with significant medical conditions have their parents close. If you are a parent, even if you’ve never lived this experience firsthand, you can probably relate to and understand the pain and desperation that the illness of the person you love the most can bring. As my friend Fernando said, this is a place where none of us have ever imagined we’d be, but if one day it happens that we need the help, RMHC is going to be there for us and the millions of families who benefit from their resources every year.

If donating is not an option for you, please be aware that there are other ways to help. Help us create awareness in the community by sharing this message with family and friends, or contact RMHC to volunteer. The greater our number, the better we can help families stay together and strengthen their faith as they recharge in a loving and compassionate place created especially for them.

 

About the Author

Named as Best Latino Advocate 2015 Through the Use of Technology and Social Media, Eliana creates awareness about the possibilities of people with disabilities through her social media channels and bilingual posts. This past October, her son, Emir, was a guest of honor to the White House, along with other 10 geniuses in technology. For the first time a person with intellectual disabilities was included to represent his community. Her daughter Ayelen is growing up while representing diversity in her role as a model for several brands in the U.S.

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