Unfortunately, when I was discharged two days later, the 29-bed NICU was over-crowded, so we couldn't stay with Ashton overnight. Thankfully, a nurse at Meriter told us about the Ronald McDonald House and called to see if they had a room for us. Just a few hours later, my husband Adam and I were welcomed into this warm, wonderful home. It was Easter Sunday and we arrived at dinner time. They checked us in and invited us to join the other families for a delicious holiday meal. I was overwhelmed by their sincerity, the support and the beautiful dinner the volunteers had prepared.
It is still hard to put into words, but the House was just so comforting. Our room was perfect. And, each morning we would pick up the bag lunch the staff prepared for us and head to the hospital to be with Ashton. When we returned to the House at night, we could rest and enjoy a home-cooked meal. The House took care of our day-to-day needs so we could focus our energy on Ashton. After two weeks in the NICU, we were thrilled to bring Ashton home. He is doing great now!
After our stay, I started following Ronald McDonald House Charities of Madison on Facebook. We even signed up for the Color Me Rad 5k run because it benefitted the House. When I saw that the Chapter was recruiting a Director of Marketing & Communications, and even though I was happy in my job at the time, I knew it was meant to be.
As I interact with the guest families, watching the tension and stress disappear from their faces when they walk through the doors, I am brought back to that moment when my husband and I first walked in. The feeling that in some small way we can help take away some of the worry, is what inspires me and my fellow RMHC staff and volunteers.
I will always be grateful that RMHC was there for us when we needed help. And I am thrilled to have the privilege to be a part of this worldwide network of support for millions of families, like my own, as we embark on the next 40 years and beyond.
Thank you for your support of RMHC!