Imagine your world turning upside down – finding out that while you are trying to recover from a heart transplant, you also have cancerous tumors throughout your body. Okay, what would you do? Where would you stay while receiving treatment? If you are 6-year old Max Herrick, you’d take off your thinking cap, put on a fedora, gather your family close by, and find a way to fight through it.
The people that enable Max to do this – that keep Max strong, courageous, and filled with life - that allows his family to stay close by while he’s receiving treatment at one of the preeminent hospitals in the country, are the staff, volunteers and other families at the Ronald McDonald House in Chicago.

Max and his family have been guests on and off at the Ronald McDonald House for more than four years. Max has fought against heart complications, a heart transplant, and now cancer. Treating his heart condition and cancer is a balancing act though – while one medicine makes one thing better, it can make the other get worse. The care he needs is very particular and delicate, and it involves some of the best doctors in the country.

“It’s been a tough road, I’m not going to lie,” says Liz Herrick, Max’s mother. “But through it all the Ronald McDonald House has helped keep Max and our whole family balanced. It has enabled us to maintain our family unit – they continue to think about the whole family – we were all a part of the solution to Max’s conditions.”
Max just left the hospital again after a long series of complications and corresponding care. He and his family will continue to battle against his conditions, but they will continue to do it with courage and hope. And each time they need it, the Ronald McDonald House will be there to ensure they have a place to stay right by the hospital and that Max has a place to play – to feel like any other kid – to feel like the only thing that makes him different is his unmatched sense of style.