Teen Patient & His Mom Reflect on 7 Years of Ronald McDonald House Visits During Star Wars Day 2023 at The House

By Rick Shepherd

May the 4th is known as Star Wars Day for many fans of the Lucas Films Ltd. movie franchise. It also happens to be during the first week of May, which is Childhood Mental Health Awareness Week during Mental Health Month. Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio observed this special time and this day by having members of Galaxy United, a Star Wars cosplay group, and some food trucks come to the House.

Noah, a 17-year-old Star Wars fan, who has been coming to Columbus for treatment of physical and behavioral health issues for more than seven years, happened to have hospital appointments that day and was staying at the House with his mom and was able to enjoy the Star Wars characters and special lunchtime food from the trucks.

Before I became communications manager for RMHC of Central Ohio, I spent several years as a family services manager at the House. So while walking through the dining room recently, Noah and his mom reminded me that, after discovering Noah is a big Star Wars fan on one of their stays at the House seven years ago, I was determined to find a Star Wars themed gift for him in our toy storage area and did find one for him. When they returned and happened to be staying at the House again, on Star Wars Day, I talked to Noah and his mom on camera as they reflected back over their visits staying at the House and how it’s helped immensely. Click the image below to hear their gratitude for all the volunteers and staff have done over the years to make them feel comfortable during hospital visits.

We’re proud to be an RMHC chapter on the forefront of helping families who have children getting treatment for behavioral health issues and breaking the stimga when it comes to childhood mental health. To learn more about our family room at the BHP and to make a contribution to the Kennedy Behavioral Health Fund so RMHC can keep more families close to their children getting mental healthcare, please visit rmhc-centralohio.org/mental-health-awareness-month.