Here in Argentina it works as well. There is the Italian Hospital of Buenos Aires, the Dr. Humberto Notti de Mendoza hospital, the Hospital de Niños de la Santísima Trinidad de Córdoba, and the Dr Jose Penna de Bahia Blanca Hospital. They help, within and outside the country of Argentina, a great number of children with cancer diagnoses and other complex diseases.
Thank you from my heart! There is no price for what you do.
Jose Pissoni Family
By Erika Thomason
Our little adventure started April 16th at 6:27am and 6:29am when our little precious babies entered the world very eager at 26 weeks gestation. Our son, Reid weighed 2lbs 3.5 ounces and our daughter, Raelyn weighed 1lb 15 ounces at birth.
We had many visitors that first week of our twins’ lives and sometimes too many to fit in my recovery room. We were very fortunate to have access to the Ronald McDonald Family Room at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital to allow some of our guests to hang out, grab some coffee and give others time to visit.
Our kids continued to grow and reach so many milestones. While most children are born with the ability to suck, swallow, and eat on their own, we have had the opportunity to watch our kids fight for breath with a furrowed concentration that was immediately followed by relief, as they taught themselves to do something that the rest of us take for granted. Not many parents are fortunate enough to watch their children achieve these types of milestones.
Our children were born 14 weeks early, which means we have had a long journey ahead of us here at the Riverside Hospital. The Ronald McDonald Family Room has been such a blessing for so many reasons during our daily visits to the hospital. I pack my lunch most days and the Family Room allows me to store my food in the fridge. They provide snacks and water everyday and during my long hours at the hospital (usually 9:30am to 10pm) I am in desperate need for little snacks. The room has also allowed me to get away from all the beeps of the hospital room, to take a break, to sit down in some comfy chairs and just give my mind a break.
The volunteers have really become friends and I look forward to seeing who is working that day or afternoon. They are all so friendly and welcoming and so helpful. Recently, my son got to come home and I bring him to the Ronald McDonald Family Room at the hospital for lunch and the ladies are soooo happy to see him and always offer help to cooking my food for me, holding my baby and I just enjoy their company so much throughout the visits.
The Family Room has offered some fun things for the moms of the NICU and High Risk such as a Thirty-One Gifts party that gave some great goodies for the mothers. The room has offered free beauty nights with volunteers coming in to style hair.
Another piece that we love about the room is Pizza Night for the NICU families. It’s a meeting that takes place twice a month for NICU parents to get together, share what is going on, a place to lean on one another or to have many laughs. My husband and I have made good friends throughout these nights and we are always looking forward to that next Wednesday.
Our journey in the NICU is hopefully coming to an end as my daughter is eating more and more consistently. We have been here for 86 days. The nurses have been absolutely amazing to our children. We really are so grateful for the opportunity to learn to take care of our children in the NICU as it has really prepared us to be better parents at home.
My husband and I really want to thank Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio for everything they provide not only for our families, but for so many other families. They offer laundry, showers, play area for kids, meals and so much more for families at the Ronald McDonald Family Room here at Riverside Methodist Hospital. The volunteer staff is absolutely wonderful and we will cherish all the delightful conversations with the people who keep the room operating to provide families comfort and a chance to feel a bit at home.
If you’ve ever worked at a place where you have the opportunity to read the comment cards or feedback posts from your employer’s customers or clients, you probably have seen your share of disgruntled remarks. After all, even the best-run businesses aren’t perfect. When a family comes to check in here at the Ronald McDonald House in Columbus, they’re given a checkout sheet so those staying in the House know what their responsibilities are when they are given the good news that their patient has been discharged and it’s time to prepare to go back home. These responsibilities include emptying the waste baskets in the room, pulling the linens off the beds and piling them up, doing a simple cleaning of the bathroom, and making sure surfaces are cleaned. When that’s all done, the checkout sheet instructs the family to come to the front desk to checkout. That’s where they are directed to a Family Service Manager who wraps up the checkout process for them, including taking the completed form from the parent before wishing them well on their journey home. On the back of that check-off list is a survey that we ask a member of the exiting family to complete and a comment section where the guest can leave some thoughts. As you can imagine, except for a very rare few over several months, the responses are always very positive. Usually, the guest struggles to put into words just how grateful they are for having been able to stay at the House, so close to their child. Here’s just a recent sampling of some of those comments from various guests over just the last week:
“All child illnesses of course are serious to families, but we met folks in the RM House who had huge & heart breaking stories. The feeling of everyone being in this together I think is a help to many. Thank you!”
“Just a thank you for the amazing resource you have provided our family through the years! I cannot tell enough people to send their donations to the RMDH!! We are so incredibly grateful for the service you provide to the families-including ours! Thank you!!”
“We had a wonderful stay! Everything was great and I couldn’t ask for more. This is so convenient for us with hospital appointments and is truly appreciated. We felt at home away from home.”
“We loved it.”
“Very helpful to a family that wouldn’t have been able to stay if it wasn’t for Ronald McDonald House. THANK YOU SO MUCH.”
“We love the Ronald McDonald House!”
“I cannot thank you enough.”
“My daughter always looks forward to making banners with Fran. Thank you for all the extra activities.”
“As always, thank you!”
“We appreciate the hospitality & know it would be more difficult getting to & from appointments and affording the lengthy stay since we are from out of state. Thank you!!”
“We found out at the last minute that our pilot could not fly us out on Friday and had to scramble to find a way home. Our last day here was supposed to be Friday but I explained our situation and you guys let us stay one more day. Thank you so much, that helped a lot and we were able to get a commercial flight home. We cannot thank you all enough for everything. It was one less thing that we had to worry about and that means everything.” (Many patients and their families come to Ronald McDonald House from across the country. Some special needs ambulatory patients who have scheduled medical treatment at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, use charitable air transportation services donated by owners of private planes and private pilots so they can get to and from Columbus. But sometimes bad weather can force smaller planes to be grounded until the weather clears up.)
“We really appreciate someplace in walking distance of the hospital.”
“Everything was well beyond expectations. Staff was amazing.”
“We really appreciate everything that everyone did to make sure we felt comfortable and at home; it really is one less stress for every parent.”
“We had a wonderful experience and am very pleased and grateful for your services.”
“All was perfect.”
“Thank you for all that you do for all of the families who stay here. It is greatly appreciated!!”
By Jamie Wintinger
Ella Wintringer is 10 years old and a member of the Skating Club of Western New York in Buffalo, New York. She started on the ice when she was 5 years old and fell in love with the sport. Ella also loves to read, play her flute, practice Tae Kwon Do and play with her new puppy Penelope. She has two brothers; Andrew and Joshua who love watching her figure skate. Ella has skated twice at the New York State Empire Games in Lake Placid, NY on former Olympic ice and in February 2018 placed 3rd in her Freeskate program, qualifying for the 2019 State Games of America.
Ella’s figure skating hasn’t always been easy because of her medical disorders. When Ella was 3 years old she became very sick with motility problems that led to a long journey involving numerous hospitalizations, various hospitals, specialists, tests, procedures, surgeries, medications, etc. that did not make Ella better. In 2013, Ella was referred to Nationwide Children’s Hospital Motility Center and we experienced the amazing Ronald McDonald House in Columbus. This past fall, Ella had her lower gastrointestinal tract reconstructed and the House became our home away from home. Ella had repeat motility testing and an intensive colorectal program which required us to be there for two weeks in April. These two very long stays were much easier to get through with the wonderful volunteers at the House supporting us along the way.
Even our short trips for doctor follow ups over the years are just as amazing! The House creates a comfortable environment for friendships to form between suffering children and Ella has always left having made a new friend or enjoyed a new experience. Our family is so thankful for Nationwide Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House. Whenever we return from an appointment, test or surgery in Columbus, Ella laces her skates and glides onto the ice like nothing ever happened. Skating is her passion and provides a place where she can leave all of her medical worries at the rink door. Skating truly heals! Ella is extremely excited to be a part of Skate It Forward and support Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio!
We learned about Skate It Forward at Ella’s last two-week stay in Columbus while we were looking at the House’s Facebook page. We saw they shared something from Skate It Forward. We were interested and approached a staff member at the House. We wanted to give back to RMHC because Columbus’ Ronald McDonald House has been so amazing and generous to us over the years! (Ella’s brother has also been a guest there when he had to come for testing to see if he had the same disorders as Ella.)
Skate It Forward presented Ella with the opportunity to skate her Obladi Oblada Freeskate program in their show on Satruday, June 16th! Ella is beyond excited for this incredible opportunity! It is the perfect combination. Skating and giving back to the community are two of her favorite things! She has given back to Nationwide Children’s Hospital Motility Center, locally to Roswell Park Cancer Institute, and to Make-A-Wish of WNY, so adding Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio to her give-back projects was absolutely perfect!
We hope to see you at the rink!
Editors Note: If you would like to attend the Skate it Forward event, click here for tickets.
The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio is excited to offer a brand new event for you and your little ones!
Pirates & Princesses is a swashbuckling good time for young children ages 10 and under to “walk the plank,” enjoy a photo booth, treasure hunt, kiss a frog (not a real one…ewww!), play Magic Wand Toss or Dig for Buried Treasure, and dress like pirates and princesses for a day in the Ivory Room of Miranova.
And, bonus—valet parking for the event is FREE!
You and your child (or children!) can come anytime between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., Sunday, June 11. Stay as long as you like for additional activities including, face painting, tattoos, Pin-the-Kiss on the frog, a fishing game, craft corner, tiara making, tea cup decorating, a dance floor, and a movie-viewing area.
Upgrade you and your little one to V.I.P. tickets (that’s Very Important Princess or Very Important Pirate!) to include pirate or princess training, hair and make-up studio, and a super cool Treasure Hunt.
An online auction will also be available as is a dress shopping area for you and your littlest princess, housing the finest gear royalty could ever dream.
Parents and their little ones will enjoy Cameron Mitchell catering that will make even the simplest kid’s cuisine a culinary delight fit for a pirate and princess!
The very best part of the whole event is that money raised, even from ticket sales, benefits the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio, serving families with seriously ill children at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and other area hospitals. Money donated to our organization, including through events like Pirates & Princesses, allows us to provide a home for families whose children are going through a medical difficulty.
And if you want to go one step further for our organization, after buying your ticket to the event, sponsor a family at the House to come to the party, too! You’ll see first-hand how your generosity is changing lives at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House.
Thank you for your continued support!
What is better than golf? This is #mywhy. Golfing for a cause. I love fundraising for the RMHC of Central Ohio through the Joe Mortellaro Junior Golf! As I begin fundraising for my third junior golf outing, I think about how lucky I am that I have been able to raise thousands of dollars for those families that need to use the house. I have been the top fundraiser the past two years, and have enjoyed not only the junior outing, but the Joe Mortellaro Golf Classic where I have met two of my favorite coaches: Urban Meyer and Thad Matta. My parents even let me bid on some items at the silent auction! Getting to golf through this outing allows me to help the house while I get to enjoy my favorite sport.
In the past three years, I have putted for change outside a local store, sent letters to area businesses, family and friends, and of course, put in my own money. Why have I done this? My answer is because it matters. There are families that need to use RMHC to remain close to their children, and they should not have to worry about where they are going to stay. It doesn’t matter that I am only 9-years-old. My efforts are as needed as my parents or even strangers. We can all give our time, services or money to help RMHC of Central Ohio. Throughout the year, I also collect pop tabs, have purchased items off the wishlist, and gave money for an organization to make a meal. There are lots of ways people can make a difference at RMHC.
Although I hope I raise the most money in fundraising again this year, I know whatever amount I am able to raise will make a big difference to RMHC of Central Ohio. Please consider donating your time or money today!
~ Written By Junior Golfer Griffin Beach
Meika (a staff member) asked me why I like volunteering for Ronald McDonald House. She wanted me to write something down and share with everyone. Well, I’ve been putting it off because I didn’t know the exact words to say but today was my turning point. I saw a young woman today who was crying over losing her child. Everyone in the office was hugging her, talking to her, trying to console her the best way they knew how. That’s what this House is all about. It exudes love and compassion for these families and their children. I saw this on day one when my friend Jean (God rest her soul) brought me to the House to see if I would like it here. She had me hooked at day one! The brave little people here are so special to me. One day, for example, a little girl came up to me and said, “I had a heart transplant,” and showed me her scar. She said, “I had to come today for tests and had to lay still for lots of hours.” My heart melted for her. I told her how brave I thought she was and she smiled that big smile. She is just one of the precious moments that I have shared here. The good Lord knows why He sent me here. I cherish every day. I love you all. The tears have been rolling steady since I started this letter. So, I think you will all get my message.
Love to all, Chris Hicks
Written By: The Smith Family: Jen, Ryan, Bren and Gideon
Summer 2016 we went in for an ultrasound to measure how big our little man was since due date was quickly approaching in the beginning of August. My favorite ultrasound tech noticed something that didn’t seem right. She went and got another tech that was more advanced to take a look. She also got the doctor who was filling in for mine who was on vacation at the time. They spotted what appeared to be a mass on his heart. They decided to send me down to OSU for a level 2 ultrasound to see what it could be. After going down to OSU it was determined there was something on the baby’s heart and we would need to team up with Nationwide and get a fetal echo as well as an MRI performed. Once we had both performed we met with a couple different doctors and came up with a game plan that I would come down to Columbus to deliver and our little man would be taken to Nationwide to have tests run as soon as he was born because of what they saw. They were confident they figured out what he had, but couldn’t officially diagnose him until after he was born.
A coworker of mine suggested asking if they could put my husband, my mother, possibly our 5 ½ year old daughter and once I got out of the hospital even myself up at the Ronald McDonald House across from Nationwide. I inquired at one of various appointments we had at Nationwide leading up to our son’s birth and they set it up for us to make this our home for the week we would be down there.
On August 6, 2016 Gideon James came into this world at a whopping 9 lbs 5 oz. Luckily for me there was no room for him at the main campus at Nationwide so he got to stay with me at OSU, only he had to hang out in their NICU and not in the room with me. Sadly the next morning I received a phone call that they are loading him up to go over to Nationwide and I need a nurse to roll me down to say bye until I could get a day pass to go visit him. I got down to give him Mommy love before they took him only to see he was already strapped into his transportation gear and I got to hold his hand from the opening of the carrier. My Mom had already been at the Ronald McDonald House and my husband had stayed the night with me at the hospital.
Flash forward to a few days later, I’m finally discharged from the hospital and I get to move in with my husband and mom into the Ronald McDonald house. Needless to say it was nothing like I had expected. The house was warm and inviting with everyone so kind and helpful from the moment you walk from the doors. The volunteers who came in to cook the meals for not only us, but the other families were friendly and took the stress away on having to worry about food. The beds were comfy and having a hot shower to freshen up in our own private room was wonderful. A few days before all of us were able to head back to our hometown my mother in law brought our daughter down to us so she could join in and get spend time with her brother. The house definitely won her over too with the various rooms in the house she could explore and play in. By far her favorite thing was one night she was invited to a princess party in the princess room. She still gleams that she got to dress like a princess and keep her princess dress. Which is why I think she insists on trying to go back with us every time we have to go down.
Gideon was officially diagnosed during his stay in the NICU with Tuberous Sclerosis Complex. Luckily for us, two of his doctors from Nationwide come to our local hospital so we can utilize them from the comforts of our hometown. However, his neurologist requires frequent trips, right now of every 6-8 week visits. Due to the frequent visits we have become frequent guests at the Ronald McDonald House. The last two trips to the house we have got our church involved in taking up donations that we can bring as our way to say Thank you for being there for us. Our daughter who is now 6 does her part by collecting tabs to send with us as well. She has been able to have family members all the way from New Mexico mail her tabs. She created a video we had posted on my Facebook page in which she shows some of the tabs and tells people why they need to donate them and how they help families. Because of the video she has had various family members and some of Mommy’s friends mail her the tabs that don’t live close by to us.
The Ronald McDonald house has been a huge blessing to my family and I know it will continue to be as we continue to have frequent doctor’s appointments that our son will have. I encourage anyone who wants to help whether collecting tabs like our 6 year old does, to collecting items off their wish list, to volunteering to cook a meal, play games or make crafts with the families to do so. Don’t do it out of pity, but do it out of love and you will touch the lives of all who enter the house. We may be just one family, but what little we do to help makes a difference for other families.
Here at the Ronald McDonald House, we know how important it is to provide family-centered care for the tiniest patients we serve—children. And we are fortunate to be part of a large team of professionals who believe in, and focus on, that mission here in Central Ohio.
This week, along with our partners at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, OhioHealth, and Mount Carmel Health, we celebrate one of the most important members of that team—nurses.
May 6 through May 12 is National Nurses Week! The week ends on the birthday of Florence Nightingale, who is considered the founder of modern day nursing of which there are over 3.1 million registered nurses in America. The purpose of the week-long celebration is to raise awareness of the value of nursing and help educate the public about the role nurses play in meeting the health care needs of the American people.
In Central Ohio, we’re lucky to have medical facilities that employ such caring and dedicated nursing professionals, who help our families through difficult and trying times.
So take a moment this week, and every day, to join with us and recognize the outstanding nurses in our area with a heartfelt, “Thank you!”
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.