I knew about RMHC before our daughter Autumn was hospitalized, but I had no idea what it would mean to us to be able to stay at the House. I had no idea just how much thought and effort staff and volunteers put into making life easier for families with sick children. 

Our eleven-month-old daughter Autumn was admitted to Nationwide Children’s Hospital in January 2014, and although my husband Brad and I knew she was very ill, we wouldn’t know why for several more weeks. After a week or so of sleeping by Autumn’s bedside, the hospital’s Child Life Specialist referred us to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio. We were so lucky to be offered a room at the Columbus Ronald McDonald House. Brad, my mother, and I took turns resting at the House. We knew getting plenty of rest was key to us staying healthy so we could be there with Autumn, night and day, for the long term.

It meant the world to our family that we didn’t have to take time away from Autumn to shop or cook. Not having the burden of mounting hotel expenses was a huge relief, especially being off work for such a long time. We are so grateful to RMHC for letting us focus 100% of our energies on Autumn during that time.

After almost three months of watching Autumn get sicker and sicker, we learned that she had an aggressive and rare type of brain tumor. Days after doctors discovered the tumor, Autumn had brain surgery. After that, she endured 64 grueling weeks of chemotherapy. 

The four months that Autumn spent in the hospital were scary, stressful, and exhausting. Honestly, I don’t think that I would have gotten through it if Brad and my mother weren’t with me every step of the way. Throughout that period, when it felt like everything in Autumn’s life was out of our control, I’m proud to say that together, we made sure she was never alone. I will always be grateful to RMHC for keeping us close to Autumn when she needed us most. 

The best way to help RMHC support families like mine is to donate. Please consider making a gift today.

With gratitude,

Carrie Wehr