For Emmanuel and Eboni Stephens, the Ronald McDonald House is nothing short of a blessing. Their twins, Emery and Emmanuel Jr., were born prematurely and needed to stay at separate hospitals three hours away from their home. They were relieved when, on the referral of a hospital social worker, they were able to get a room at the nearby House.  

“I was close enough to be able to walk to EJ’s room and take milk to him and I was just a short drive from Emery,” explained Emmanuel. “The most important thing for me was to make sure that I was always there to support my family and to be there for Eboni emotionally.” More than allowing the Stephens family to stay in close proximity to one another, the House provided them with a support system. 

The House was not only a community, it was a family— we got to talk to people, we got to cry with someone and there was always someone to go to who understood what we were going through. The staff at the facility were tremendous. They helped us in any way that they could,” said Eboni. Although Emmanuel Jr. didn’t overcome his illnesses and passed away, Emmanuel and Eboni are both grateful to have been able to be by his side when he needed them most. 

“Luckily, we were blessed with Emery who is thriving and is a beacon of light, but we also learned so much from Emmanuel Jr.— to see how somebody so little could fight so hard. It was such an inspiration to be able to stay close to him and see that,” said Emmanuel. 

This Father’s Day, make a gift to support families like Stephens family through some of the greatest battles of their lives.