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February 8th, 2019
In a sea of uncertainty, stress and health complications, Ashton and Sherry find support, courage and joy at RMHC.
Greg and I have been blessed to have three beautiful daughters – Ashton (age 5), Amelia (age 2), and Avery (age 1). They all have such big personalities; seeing them together, it may be surprising to learn Ashton was born with many puzzling conditions.
As a desperate mom, I had to search for physicians that could help put together seemingly unrelated medical conditions. Ashton is now part of the medically complex care program with an extensive list of health issues (dysautonomia, gastroparesis, chronic fatigue, and many, many more). She is dependent on G/J feeds which means she is fed through a tube that bypasses her stomach. Unfortunately, the list of health complications seems to be growing as Ashton grows.
After finally finding the doctors we need in Wisconsin, we also found ourselves in a very tough spot financially and emotionally. Ashton needs frequent care and hospitalization which means we are regularly away from our home in Michigan for weeks at a time. It is scary to be completely unable to control what is going on with your child’s health while trying to stay strong when far from home. My family was blessed from the moment we were referred to the Ronald McDonald House (RMHC). We no longer had to fear not being able to afford a hotel stay during treatments or feeling insecure about being in an unknown city. The thoughts of only eating once a day because we are trying to save every penny is eased by the prepared dinners and Lunches-2-Go at RMHC.
Coming to this House has given my family more than we could have ever dreamed. Beyond a beautiful, cozy room and meals, we have a support team. The unbelievable staff is now a true part of our family and has been down this stressful medical journey with us every step of the way. We have also been surprised and blessed by the amazing friendships made with other families battling the same fears and frustrations. A great example was movie night (Ashton’s favorite night!). All her friends were getting their popcorn, snacks and bean bag chairs. Everyone was settled, but Ashton started to get sick. Instead of us going back to our room while they finished the movie, all of her friends put back their snacks and met us in our room. They crawled onto Ashton’s bed and snuggled in to watch a movie together up there. These children take care of each other. Their compassion is beyond their years.
Ashton used to cry every time she was told that we had to go to the hospital, but she now gets excited to see the RMHC staff and meet up with her friends. My daughter has been given joy and courage in the hard days she faces. We love the Ronald McDonald House and all the beautiful people who welcome us in and wrap us with support, encouragement and hope.