On October 25, 1996 my 7 month old son, William, was diagnosed with Infant acute lymphocytic leukemia (Infant ALL) with a 19% cure rate. My wife and I took William to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis for what would end up being 2 years and 3 months of treatment. At the time Will was diagnosed, we had no real idea what services the Ronald McDonald House of Indiana (RMH) provided. Two weeks into Will's treatment he ended up in ICU and we found ourselves in need of a place to stay that was as close to the hospital as possible. The RMH provided us, and provides thousand of families, with a safe place to stay while their child is receiving medical care. Having the RMH eliminates the stressors of “Where are we going to stay?”, “What are we going to eat?”, “How are we going to pay for those items?,” and “How can I get a break to rest?”. The RMH allowed us to focus our emotional and physical resources on our son and his care.
Unfortunately, Will passed away on January 7, 1999. Since then I have found that being a volunteer/board member of the RMH is my best way to remember Will and help other families whose children need to receive critical medical care.
The Ronald McDonald House provides critical support to ill children and their families. The Indianapolis location plays an integral part in offering itself as a base for these children and their families to focus on their medical treatments and overall well-being. Providing family support as well as to the patient is critical in addressing the needs of the family being affected. The Ronald McDonald House Indianapolis staff, board members, and volunteers care deeply about the mission of the house, and care deeply about the children and families that this wonderful organization serves. Unfortunately medical tragedies can strike any family at any time, and just the simple fact that this resource exists to help many people throught these difficult times is amazing. I have never known the staff, board members, and volunteers to be anything but dedicated, passionate, caring and committed. This same spirit of committment to serving these deserving children and their families in Indianapolis will undoubtedly continue to carry on into the future, and I look forward to seeing what wonderful things come next!