Dakodah Searcy

‘A Relief’ for Dakodah’s Family

“To focus simply on his care while I see him laughing, playing, and dancing here at the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House means everything to me,” says Nicole Boykins, grandma to Dakodah Searcy.

Dakodah, 7, from Musella, Georgia, loves playing football, riding horses and dancing to Michael Jackson songs. He is in second grade and enjoys solving math problems and learning how to build things.

On May 23, the day before Dakodah’s last day of first grade, he had his first breakthrough seizure. He was diagnosed with epilepsy and began taking seizure medications.

Despite treatment, the seizures continued, varying in type, and increasing frequency. Several trips to the emergency room led to an MRI.

The scan revealed an abnormality, so Dakodah was sent to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where he was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor, a bithalamic high grade glioma.

Dakodah and his grandma have been staying at the Ronald McDonald House near Egleston while he receives treatment at Emory Winship Cancer Institute. “Our social worker informed us of Atlanta RMHC when Dakodah’s treatment began, and staying here has been a huge relief,” Nicole says.

At the House, Nicole enjoys being able to meet other families and appreciates being just minutes away from Dakodah’s doctors. The House has relieved her family of the financial burden of having to find housing or having to transport Dakodah from home to his treatments, five days a week.

Dakodah loves playing in the playroom, the arts and crafts nights, and spending time in the garden. According to Nicole, he has bonded with Chief Happiness Officer, Betty Lou, more than he has with any other dogs before.

“The House offers us not only convenience but peace of mind, and I am beyond grateful to all supporters of Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities for making this possible for families,” Nicole says.