Family Stories

Ronald McDonald House is a "home-away-from-home" during difficult times

The volunteers and staff's passion at Ronald McDonald House® of Memphis is making the lives of its families a little easier. With hectic schedules, and doctors trips it is nice to take care of the small things for the families, and make them feel at home. It certainly has made life a little easier for Stacy, the mother of 6-year-old Waylon, who was diagnosed with cancer nearly three years ago.

“It was after a week and half of just minor aches and pains,” Stacy said. “We didn’t think much of it, but over time it wasn’t going away so we went to see a doctor.”

At the time Stacy and her family were living in Texas and were going to the Children’s Hospital in San Antonio. After years of doctors, hospital visits, and treatments, Waylon went through his fifth phase of chemo. Following this, Waylon went through surgery to remove his tumor. They thought all was fine until he was reclassified in March 2013, meaning his cancer had not gone away.

Stacy and Waylon have been staying at the Ronald McDonald House of Memphis while he’s been receiving treatment at St. Jude and they love it. They enjoy all of its amenities, and how easy the Ronald McDonald House makes life for them while they are going through this stressful time. One of the many things they like about the Ronald McDonald House is not having to eat out every night.“

Eating out every night really gets old fast”, she joked. “There is always someone volunteering, bringing food to serve us and I really appreciate that.”

Waylon’s family was familiar with the Ronald McDonald House because they stayed at one previously in San Antonio when he was going to the Children’s Hospital there. They loved the Ronald McDonald House so much they knew that was where they wanted to stay when they came to Memphis.“

Everyone here tries to give the kids a happy environment,” she said. “When you walk into the house you see the bright walls, and toys everywhere for kids to play with. With all the spacious play areas inside and out, Ronald McDonald House makes it easy for the kids to distract themselves from their constant hospital trips. Waylon loves all the toys at the house, but his favorite is the bikes.”

“I love all the amenities for the kids to play,” She said. “It’s like being at home. It’s nice to be able to give them a bit of a normal childhood while going through all of this.”

The camps and the special events put on by Ronald McDonald House staff and volunteers are what really makes living here special for the kids. Waylon had a great time at a recent movie night.  

“One night we had a movie night and we saw Frozen” Stacy said. “And who showed up?” 

“Olaf did!” Waylon exclaimed.

“The feeling you get at Ronald McDonald house is like none other,” she explained. “Whether you are receiving support by the staff or another family you are surrounded by someone to help you. The mission of the Ronald McDonald House is to truly make you feel at home.”

“The people are so friendly and they just make you feel so welcome” she said. “It’s such an amazing thing that they take the time out of their busy schedules to come and volunteer, especially the ones who’ve been coming monthly for years and years."

Whether it’s a home cooked meal, a little entertainment or just a friendly face, Ronald McDonald House of Memphis’ goal is to make the lives of the families staying here as stress-free and easy as possible while they are going through one of the most difficult times of their lives. 

Posted by John Parie at 9:01 AM
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