Comfort and Care – The Watkins Family

The Watkins family from Dowagiac, MI found the care they need in Grand Rapids. Fourteen-year-old Kenia has been receiving medical care at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital’s hematology/oncology program and rehabilitation services through Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital. Her dad, Ronald, spent 274 nights at the RMHWM.

Balance and vision problems were the early symptoms that eventually led to Kenia’s diagnosis of medulloblastoma, a brain cancer. Through many months of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, Kenia has maintained a great attitude and has never shown signs of being upset her Dad proudly proclaims. Her path to recovery has also included physical therapy and occupational therapy services at Mary Free Bed.

It has been a difficult year for the family; however, Ronald continues to feel blessed with support and help from the community of Dowagiac, the professionals at both HDVCH and MFB as well as the Ronald McDonald House. Ronald says, “It’s been a privilege to have the House close by to provide not just shelter but comfort.” He appreciated that he could come and go as needed from the House. Ronald also welcomed the opportunity to interact with the other families and found it therapeutic that they uplifted and supported each other.

In early December, Ronald and Kenia moved out of the RMHWM and into their own home in Grand Rapids. Because Kenia’s treatment will be on-going, this move will enable Kenia’s brothers to return to Michigan and for the family to be together under one roof. We wish Kenia and the entire Watkin’s family the best as she continues her battle with medulloblastoma.