Family Stories

Ronald McDonald House of Memphis Makes Trying Time Easier


Ronald McDonald House of Memphis serves hundreds of families each year and while each of their stories is a little different, one thing remains the same for all of them – their child has cancer and their lives will never be the same again. 

 Ivy and Elizabeth’s story began in late May when Ivy developed a fever and rash. Doctors initially though she had a simple viral infection, but blood tests soon revealed a much different problem. They knew she was predisposed to develop Leukemia because she has Down syndrome and the tests confirmed their suspicions. 

By early June, Elizabeth and Ivy were staying at Ronald McDonald House of Memphis while Ivy received treatment at St. Jude. 

After a short period of adjustment, the Atlanta, Texas natives were starting to think of Ronald McDonald House as their second home. 

“It’s nice to be only a short car ride away from the hospital,” Elizabeth said. “We really like it here. We have a space to call our own when we are away from the hospital at nights. The first thing I did was cook us a home-cooked meal. After nearly a month of fast food, it was nice to be able to finally cook something.” 

They quickly found that kitchens, bedrooms and other amenities of home are not the only benefits of staying at Ronald McDonald House. “The support system here is outstanding. Everyone is so willing to just sit and talk with you and help you out with whatever problem you may have,” she said. “The other parents staying here really know what you’re going through and can help you through the hard times.” 

When they have free time away from the hospital, Ivy loves playing in the specially designed toddler room and swinging outside on the playgrounds when the weather cooperates, she said. “Personally I really enjoy playing in the monthly bingo nights that the volunteer groups bring in,” Elizabeth said. “It is something I use to do back at home and it’s nice to have a way to relax every once in a while.” 

“Our time here at Ronald McDonald House has been a wonderful experience in the middle of a trying time. It’s truly amazing here.”      

Posted by John Parie at 1:05 PM
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