Before her son was diagnosed with cancer, Hannah didn’t really know much about Ronald McDonald Houses other than knowing the change she gave to coin boxes at McDonald’s helped support them.
“When we first arrived at Ronald McDonald House, I was a little afraid of the shared living atmosphere,” Hannah said. “I was used to having my own kitchen and my own living room, but now I don’t know how I would have made it through this without all of the wonderful people I’ve met.”
Her son’s diagnosis and moving hundreds of miles away from family took its toll on her.“
I had a whirlwind of emotions when he was diagnosed, but the support of other families and the staff here is amazing,” the Louisiana native said. “No one really knows what we are going through besides other families going through the same thing. We have made a lot of new friends here, including two of my best friends. This House is truly a blessing.”
The support they found at Ronald McDonald House of Memphis doesn’t end when they return home between treatments.“
The families have a Facebook group that allows us all to stay in touch and keep track of how everyone’s treatment is going,” she said. “We all are happy and relieved when someone is cancer-free and grieve and support each other when someone’s child passes away.”
“This really is our home-away-from-home,” Hannah said. “Jack loves being here and playing with all of the other kids in the Toddler Room and outside on the playground. This House is the only home he has ever really known. He’s grown up at Ronald McDonald House of Memphis.”
While the reasons that bring families to Ronald McDonald House of Memphis are never good, the support and friendships that are formed during their stays last forever.