Meet Our Families
Shelly's story began when she was diagnosed with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at just 18 months old. Her parents, Amber and Ricky, were devastated but they knew they had to be strong for their little girl. Shelly was a lively and fun-loving child who enjoyed...
Ronald McDonald House Charities West Michigan (RMHCWM) was a lifesaver for the Willmore family who experienced complications during delivery. Their son was transferred an hour and a half to the children’s hospital in Grand Rapids for what they initially thought would...
“We see the benefit that RMHC gives to families. We know what it’s like to worry about the health of your child” shared Katie.
“When we were discharged from Spectrum, we didn’t know what to do. We didn’t feel comfortable being at home and trying to commute with his respiratory issues. RMHWM is a charity we knew about and never thought we’d need, but they opened their doors to us.”
When Katherine “Kate” Ferguson’s daughter Niviah was accepted into an intensive pediatric program at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, she didn’t know that the Ronald McDonald House was an option. Before finding the RMHWM, Kate thought she would have to sleep in her car.
Ahmiracle’s birth was just that – a miracle – unexpected but welcome. She was born on October 10, 2018, three months early at just 15 oz. Early complications led to an extended stay (198 days) in the NICU at Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.
If a room at the Ronald McDonald House was not available, we would have camped out in the NICU. We wanted to spend as much time with our daughter as possible.
Like many second time moms, Lindsey Klastow didn’t expect an emergency C-section at 31 weeks into her pregnancy due to preeclampsia. Not only was she facing recovery from the unplanned surgery but also a long commute between her home in Ludington, MI and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital where baby Emmitt (born at 1lb. 9oz.) was growing stronger.
“Think of the milestones we would have missed if we couldn’t stay close”, says Nadia as she talks to Chance about their baby Axel.
Imagine hearing that not only does your child have cancer- but it’s such a rare form that it’s only been documented in 135 cases worldwide- or in less than one percent of the population. More rare than being struck by a lightning bolt.
Jilleanna Theobald never expected to be away from her home in Cadillac for six months. But when she was, she couldn’t imagine being at a better place than the Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan (RMHWM).
Our family lives in Brimley, Michigan which is 16 miles from the Canadian border. The Upper Peninsula is a wonderful place to live and raise a family, but due to the isolated nature of the area, we lack many medical and psychological services.
As a former McDonald’s team member, Abby would donate whatever she could to the Ronald McDonald House never thinking she would be needing to use the services RMHC provides. That all changed on August 27th, 2021.
“Staying at the Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan has been a huge blessing to my family and has made it possible to be able to get my son the care he needs.” – Jennifer Brimer
On December 13th last year, Sean and Amber Willard came to Grand Rapids to meet with leading oncologist Dr. Giselle Sholler, who is Head of the Pediatric Oncology Translational Research Laboratory at Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. Their 5-year old daughter, Natalie, was first diagnosed with neuroblastoma in February 2016.
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.
The dilemma faced by parents Cassandra Lang and Thomas Augustine is unfortunately not an uncommon one; how to stay close to their child experiencing medical or mental health challenges.
It was a late October day in Sturgis, MI (St. Joseph County), when fifteen-year old Dayton Johnson and his best friend, thirteen-year old Asher Foster, took out their dirt bikes for some outdoor fun. That fun turned tragic when the boys had a severe head-on collision, causing traumatic brain injuries, multiple facial fractures and broken bones for both boys.
The fireworks started earlier than expected on July 4, 2018 for Kendra and Tom Elmer. Kendra started having contractions and her water broke at just 23 weeks into her pregnancy.