When Nadine, a 23-year-old mother, took her only child, 6-week-old Braxton, to the hospital in California, a CT scan showed a large growth inside his head. They flew to Los Angeles, where surgeons performed an 8-hour surgery, during which they were able to remove 90% of the mass. And so their journey began.
After release from the hospital, Braxton spent Christmas with mom and dad at home in Apple Valley, CA. They connected with St. Jude Children’s Hospital; and just 3 days into the new year, they arrived in Memphis and moved into Ronald McDonald House. Nadine says, “The hardest thing is to know you do not have control and just to have faith in doctors.”
Braxton likes to entertain people, and he loves giraffes, especially the stuffed giraffe that hangs from his stroller. His parents took him to the zoo here, but he slept through the exhibits. Most of the time, it is just Nadine and Braxton. He has finished 4 months of chemotherapy for his brain tumor, a Choroid plexus carcinoma, and he must have up to 5 months more treatment.
Nadine says, “You guys, both the residents and the staff, are my family away from home. Being able to have somewhere that you call home and not living in a hospital or hotel room is wonderful. I am home here at RMHC Memphis.”
Nadine adds, “Paint night is fun and all the dinners are nice and appreciated. Thank you won’t cover it. Thank you is a good start but we could not be more appreciative of what RMHC Memphis has done - you have made our lives a little bit easier. Where am I going to make my dinner? Where am I going to sleep? Where are we going to stay the next 6 months?” All these questions are answered with Ronald McDonald House of Memphis.
“You guys make this a lot easier in a time that is so difficult. It is the little things like, ‘Oh I have dish soap.’ I do not take it for granted.”