Ashley Grace and Tabetha Hicklin

A Note from Tabetha Hicklin

Twelve years ago, Ashley Grace made me a mom. As her mom, I have found inner strength I never expected.

At 6 months old, Ashley Grace suffered an ischemic stroke. She survived, but in less than one minute the stroke killed more than 2 million brain cells. She was later diagnosed with right hemiplegic cerebral palsy and dystonia, a complex neurological movement disorder.

We’ve traveled the country to find the best medical care for Ashley Grace and that is what brought us to Atlanta. Ashley Grace is enrolled in a robotics program at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and she hopes to soon be able to fix her hair, put in earrings, and become a more independent 12-year-old.

Being together as a family during her rehabilitation is so important – not just for Ashley Grace, but for all of us. We have spent 335 nights at the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House, and we are thankful for every night – because it meant we were together.

It is such a comfort to be surrounded by other families at the Ronald McDonald House. We all have a story, and we are all on a journey. Some, like us, have spent years on this path. Others are just beginning. Together, here at the House, we’ve found hope and strength.

None of this would be possible without the people who support the House. For us, the House is family – our family. We’ve been so blessed by this House, and it will forever be a part of us.

Thank you, Tabetha Hicklin