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From The Daily News: Ronald McDonald House Welcomes St. Jude Children, Families

Click here to read The Daily News story on Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis.

Posted by Lisa Haguewood at Monday, June 12, 2017 | 0 comments
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Corporate Spotlight - Walgreens

Walgreens employees extended their popular phrase, "Be Well", to the brave families at RMHC Memphis as they volunteered at Cancer Awareness Makes Progress (C.A.M.P.) Wishing Well.  For the second year, Walgreens is the presenting sponsor of our weeklong program, C.A.M.P. Wishing Well.  Each day has a different theme from princess and super hero day to mad scientist day.  Walgreens employees had fun helping families with all of the different crafts and activities.  

"Getting involved with Ronald McDonald House [of Memphis] was something we really wanted to do with all levels of employees," said Cece Xavier, Director of Pharmacy and Retail Operations at Walgreens.

At RMHC Memphis, our mission is to "keep families close" and to help alleviate stress for families by hosting fun activities like C.A.M.P. Wishing Well. "We want to do anything for the kids and families that are here, bring a moment of joy to them, and just be a small part of making this home for them.  We try to have enough people here to treat every child like they matter," says Cece.

Along with Walgreens' support of C.A.M.P. Wishing Well, they are also having a two week fundraiser for RMHC Memphis.  Memphis area Walgreens stores are collecting donations for RMHC Memphis from June 10 - June 24.  Be sure to stop by a Walgreens close to you, pick up some items, and make a donation on the pinpad when you check out.  And please, tell the employees thank you for everything they do for RMHC Memphis.  It is because of community partners like Walgreens that the doors of RMHC Memphis are open for St. Jude families to turn to, at absolutely no cost.

Walgreens, thank you for being a friend that RMHC Memphis can count on to help keep families close!
 

Posted by Lisa Haguewood at Tuesday, June 6, 2017 | 0 comments
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“She Thought They Were So Funny and Most of the Time They Were Not”

“We were on vacation in Florida.   I had a fever that would not break, unexplained bruising, and extreme fatigue every time I went outside in the heat,” said 19-year-old Tori from Pekin, IL.    

 

Tori was 5 days away from moving into college.  Instead, in August 2016, Tori began treatment for ALL, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, high risk.  The first 263 days of treatment,  Tori and her mother Tonya spent 141 at the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Memphis (RMHC Memphis). “My mom is my hero because my whole life she has given up things for me.  She took off work and stayed with me every trip we had to make to Memphis,”  Tori said.

 

Tonya said that Tori was expecting a roommate with whom she could share clothes and hang out. “She got a roommate, but it was me.  We feel the Ronald McDonald House is just like a dorm.  She enjoyed the community living and activities that the house offered.”

 

Tori said, “My favorite part of the House is how welcoming the staff is.  If you ever need something, they will stop what they are doing to help.”   

 

Tonya said, “Sherri (Director of House Operations) is always focused on working and running the house.  We got to know her and along with another family we would ask if we could cause trouble.  It became a joke every time we passed her office.”   

 

“Tori loved the candy bowl at the front desk.  She would stop by it everyday before and/or after her appointments, not for the candy, but for the Laffy Taffy jokes.  She thought they were so funny and most of the time they were not,” said Tonya.

 

Tori met a 15-year-old girl from West Virginia named Lindsey.  They became best friends and talk every day.   Lindsey is on the radiation side of treatment, and Tori is on the chemo side.  They make each other stronger and are learning how different the two treatments are.

 

At the House, Tori and Tonya loved the rocking chairs and sat in them every morning, waiting for the shuttle.  Tori really liked going to the House pantry because when she was on certain medicines, she was always hungry.   Tori enjoyed the House’s 25th year Celebration, seeing the decorated Christmas trees, decorating her room door, hiding Easter Eggs, participating in  teen activities, watching movies, and taking 3rd place in the RMHC Memphis Bad Dog 5K.

 

Tonya said, “We did not really understand what RMHC was all about before we arrived.  RMHC Memphis has really thought of everything to make the House feel like your home. I will never forget everything the House has done for our family when we were so scared about the needs and future of Tori.”

 

 “I would love to be an algebra teacher or a Child Life specialist and I never want to forget all the amazing people we have met at this House, ” Tori concludes.

Posted by Lisa Haguewood at Tuesday, June 6, 2017 | 0 comments
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“Every Day May Not Be a Good Day, But There is Good in Every Day.”

Emma is a 14 years old from Decatur, IL. In 2015 an X-ray of Emma showed a mass. After she was diagnosed as having Ewing Sarcoma, she and her mother Jenny headed to Memphis. 3 different times, they have stayed at Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Memphis. Jenny said, “Emma’s treatment is more bearable because you are not constantly at the hospital. RMHC Memphis is like a dorm and everybody is accommodating.“ 

Emma enjoys playing games like “Sorry” and “Uno” with her Mom. Her favorite movie is “Facing the Giants.” On TV, she likes to watch “Liv and Maddie.” Emma said, “Meeting friends here at the house has been the best part. People like Emily, ‘Miss’ Sherri, Luz, and Jan. I never want to forget meeting Brock, my best friend. We started treatment the same day and met here.” 

Emma comes from a family of 7: her parents, John and Jenny, and Emma’s four siblings --Sam, Sarah, Grace, and Hannah. While at RMHC Memphis, Emma enjoys doing arts and crafts. She said, “It is fun living here and being 14. It is peaceful most of the time. “ Emma enjoys game night and says Bingo is one of the best things here. Eventually, Emma wants to be a Child Life Specialist at the hospital doing art therapy. 

When asked, “what keeps you positive?” Jenny answered, “The LORD. He is our 
strength. My strength left a long time ago but if I empty myself and let him fill it, I can make it.”  Then she quotes a piece of art that Emma made her which said, “Every day may not be a good day, but there is good in every day.” 

Posted by Lisa Haguewood at Wednesday, April 5, 2017 | 0 comments
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“I Cannot Forget the Outpouring of Love Here”

In pretty pink glasses and a matching outfit with headband, Rica who is almost 3 years old, often sings the song ”Jesus’ Love is a Bubblin’ Over” while performing the hand motions too. Her favorite part of the Ronald McDonald House Charities® Memphis is the playroom. Rica’s favorite thing to do with “Mommy” is to read a book about little black fish swimming in a school of red fish. She reads to her Mommy every night. Her favorite story in the Bible is Jonah and the Big Fish. Rica does not discriminate in her choice of toys since she enjoys cars, 
trucks and Spiderman. She loves to watch “Paw Patrol” and “SpongeBob Squarepants.” 

 

Rica’s diagnosis is bilateral retinoblastoma. Despite the challenges, every day she enjoys going to see “Miss” Sherri (Maxey, Director of House Operations), whose hugs she thrives on. She also loves “Miss” Sheila (Campbell, Director of Finance and Administration). 

Rica’s Mommy, Sonia, says, “It is nice to know I have people looking out for us. 
RMHC Memphis has been a home for me. I cannot forget the outpouring of love here. I was coming to America, this large country, from Jamaica, a small island. I really did not know what was ahead and they provided a home for me, some place where I can stay and be comfortable. 
All I have to think about is taking care of Rica. Rica came to a clinic where I was working in Jamaica. Her birth mother left her there. She was 6 weeks old when I took her in. I am her legal guardian. It is my duty to take care of her and get her back to good health. Thank you very much, RMHC Memphis. Please continue to do what you are doing so we can all be comfortable.” 

Posted by Lisa Haguewood at Wednesday, April 5, 2017
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