My family’s first experience with the Ronald McDonald House of Durham and Wake was when my son Paris was three years old. After months of trying to figure out why Paris was so ill, we learned that he had restrictive cardio myopathy. The doctors sent us to see heart specialists at Duke Children's Hospital and Health Center in Durham, NC, which is two hours from our home in Wilson, NC.
 
When we arrived I was overwhelmed and didn’t know what to do or where to go. The wonderful nurses at the hospital referred us to the Ronald McDonald House knowing they would offer us the help and support we needed. I never dreamed that was the start of one of our family’s longest and most important relationships.
 
RMHC has helped us cope with so many challenges over the years. Paris has had three heart transplants, a kidney transplant, and spent close to 70% of his time at the hospital or the Ronald McDonald House of Durham and Wake since our first visit sixteen years ago.
 
In all that time, the RMHC staff and volunteers have been so good to us. They really understand that while the patient is being taken care of, the family supporting him needs loving care, too. At the House we could rest and recharge with a good meal. And for those times when I felt I couldn't leave Paris' side for more than an hour or two, the Ronald McDonald Family Room was a huge help. I could rest there, shower, have a snack, and even do laundry - all without leaving the hospital.
 
RMHC makes it so that you don't have to concentrate on anything but taking care of your child; everything else is right there for you. They also go out of their way to celebrate with us whenever possible. We were thrilled to share photos from Paris' recent High School graduation with our friends at the Ronald McDonald House of Durham and Wake. Though I may never be able to express how grateful I am to RMHC for all they have done for our family, I know we would not have made it this far without the thoughtful, cheerful, and constant care of the House and everyone in it.  
 
With love,
 
Luanda Sharper
"RMHC really understands that while the patient is being taken care of, the family supporting him needs loving care, too."