Mack is just like any typical kid, he loves to play games, paint and play basketball with friends. It was after a routine basketball physical that doctors discovered he had cancer in his leg.
Twenty-four hours later, on Christmas Eve, the family was on their way to Memphis from their home in Rogersville, Tenn., to help Mack begin the fight for his life.
“Being so far away from home and getting thrown in to this difficult experience, we weren't really sure what to expect,” said Amanda, Mack’s mom. “Fortunately, the staff at Ronald McDonald House of Memphis goes out of their way to make sure everything you need is taken care of.”
“Ronald McDonald House has a homey atmosphere, it really does feel like our ‘home-away-from-home,’” said Ryan, Mack’s dad. “It’s really tough being away from the rest of our family, but everyone here makes it a lot easier.”
After settling in, the family began to take advantage of some of the great play areas and the support system that is unique to Ronald McDonald House of Memphis.
“Mack’s favorite part of Ronald McDonald House is the game room. We go there every night to unwind from stressful days at the hospital,” Amanda said. “In the game room he gets to have fun and act like a normal kid.”
“We love sitting around talking to the other families in the evenings,” Ryan said. “Interacting with the other families in the common areas is much better than sitting in a room all day by yourself. You get to talk with everyone and see how their day is going and meet the new families.”
Now that they have been at Ronald McDonald House for a few months, Ryan and Amanda have taken on a new, rewarding role.
“We've made the transition from the newbies to veterans and are always happy to gather around and talk with the new families, answer any questions they may have and give our advice,” Ryan said. “We remember how overwhelming it was when we first arrived here and how the other families helped us out.”
Mack is currently on his fifth round of chemo treatment and his fight is far from over, so the support they receive at their “home-away-from-home” is appreciated.
“It’s great to be surrounded by so many wonderful families,” Amanda said. “We truly couldn’t ask to be at any better place during a time like this.”