We would like to share some stories from our "families." We hope they help you understand better what we do and why we do it.
Madelyn Hart's Story
My name is Madelyn Hart, I was born on August 28, 2006, and live in Arlington, Texas with my mommy and daddy. Doctors told my mommy and daddy I have coronal craniosyntosis which means that the sutures in my skull fused prematurely leaving no room for my brain to grow.
Mommy and daddy found a doctor in San Antonio who could fix my skull with a small surgery and a plastic helmet to shape my head so with my mimi we went to San Antonio where we stayed at the Ronald McDonald House a few blocks from the hospital for eight days while I had surgery and was fitted for a helmet.
We all liked it at the House where we met new friends, mommy and mimi could cook for us, and we could watch movies and play games. I didn't like my new helmet at first but after a few days I didn't even notice it any more.
When we got home some people would stare at me so mommy put stickers on my helmet, and when I outgrew the first one we went back to the Ronald McDonald House while I was fitted with a new one. My sister put stickers on it too. So far I have outgrown four helmets, and my head looks better each time.
My friends at the House aren't rude and don't stare, but they always like to see how mommy has decorated my helmet.
Sidney Naranjo Story
Hello, my name is Sidney Naranjo. I am now nine years old, and I live with my mommy and big brother, Dylan, in Yorktown, Texas. I was a premature baby so I spent a long time in the hospital while mommy and Dylan stayed nearby at the Ronald McDonald House.
Sometimes mommy and Dylan would go home for a few days and then come back to be near me. Mommy really appreciated having such a nice place to stay where she could cook, wash clothes, and visit with new friends. Dylan liked the inside playroom full of toys and the swings and slides outside. Sometimes he even got to meet the real Ronald McDonald, a tall clown with a red nose and great big red shoes.
After I got big enough to go home I developed other medical problems which have meant more trips to San Antonio to see doctors. The doctors are nice but they poke you and stick you with needles. While at the Ronald McDonald House my friends hug me and tell me how I’m growing up so pretty. Best of all I am now big enough to play with all the toys Dylan told me about.
Hello. My name is Alyssa Keanna Zamago, I am 10 months old, and I live with my mommy, daddy, and big sister in Eagle Pass, Texas. I was too eager to see Christmas and was born too soon on December 14, 2006. I was not due until the last week of February 2007 so they called me a premature baby. That’s when I had to stay in a special nursery at the University Hospital in San Antonio, Texas.
After that happened my parents started to get worried about how they would stay close to me and my big sister who was still in Eagle Pass with family members. As my mommy was being discharged from the hospital a wonderful nurse mentioned Ronald McDonald House just down the street from the hospital. Afraid of asking for help they arrived at the House and were greeted with a big smile that made them feel very welcome. Since they checked in on December 19 the House was full of Christmas trees and all decorated for my first Christmas.
I was very happy to have my family close by and especially knowing that my big sister Ashley was having a great time with the rest of the children at the House. Sometimes my family would go home to Eagle Pass for a few days but I knew they were thinking about me because my mommy would call the hospital all the time. I knew they would be back soon.
On Christmas morning Santa Claus left awesome gifts at the Ronald McDonald House for my whole family and me. I don’t know what he looks like but I hope to find out on my second Christmas. After the New Year we got to go home to Eagle Pass. Even though I never saw the House my family told me how much they liked staying at such a clean, comfortable, and safe place. And of course mommy took lots of nice pictures of the House for my scrapbook. I would like to thank all the staff, charities, and all the wonderful people who make the Ronald McDonald House possible.