By: Holly Robinson
Where to begin to talk about the Ronald McDonald house and our history is a lot harder than I thought.
We are the Robinson Family and have used Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio for 17 years. So in the next few paragraphs, I will be summing up 17 years of our family’s life. Our daughter, Becca, was born 9 weeks premature. We started at the Ronald McDonald House in Akron, Ohio and for the last 10 years we’ve been here in Columbus.
Our experiences in the beginning were more terrifying than they are now. We were told our baby girl probably didn’t have a brain stem, would repeatedly stop breathing which led her to have to be revived more times than I can remember. The NICU was always able to keep us up to date on what was going on and the Ronald McDonald House was always able to be our home and place of comfort.
For the first several months I didn’t ever leave hospital. When it was time for my husband to return to work, he was still able to visit and then sleep at RMHC. RMHC provided a place where we could shower, eat, take naps and sometimes even allow for one of us to get a full night sleep while the other sat with Becca.
Now the Ronald McDonald House takes on a whole new meaning for us. We live about an hour and a half away from the hospital and all of the specialists (including Pulmonology, Neurology, Urology, Nephrology, Behavioral Health, Gastroenterology, Cardiology, and Orthopedics) that we see at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, at least once a month. We stay at the House in Columbus, the evening before those days and sometimes the evening after. We usually try to get all of our appointments scheduled for just one day and then sleep at the House so we can save the 3 hour round trip and completely tiring out Becca.
As our way of giving back to what we call our “second” home, we try to volunteer our time and do fundraisers for this great organization because we would be lost without the outpouring love, support, and resources for our family. We cannot say thank you enough times to The Ronald McDonald House.
17 years is a long time to depend on something as important as they are! Just for a quick update on what 17 years of wonderful care at the hospital and RMHC has done for our daughter. She is so successful and in all Honors classes as a High School Junior and attends college as a post-secondary student. She drives, performs in plays, sings, dances, plays and marches in band, is in National Honor Society and many much more! She still has to be seen about once a month and takes about 10 medications a day but she perseveres through it all and can do anything she sets her mind to. Her future plans are to double major in Music Therapy and Special Education when she attends college.Her future wouldn’t be possible with The Ronald McDonald House! We are so blessed and so thankful for this organization.