23 Jan A ‘Safe Atmosphere’ for the Willis Family
“Atlanta RMHC has helped emotionally and physically reduced stress and the financial burden that come with having to travel far from home every week to access medical care for Carrington,” says mom, Angela Porter-Willis, from Warner Robbins.
Carrington Willis, 16, was diagnosed with Juvenile Dermatomyositis, an autoimmune disease of the muscles, skin and blood vessels. Carrington experiences muscle weakness and skin rashes from the inflammation caused by an overactive immune system.
Before she was diagnosed, Carrington was active in several sports and activities likes gymnastics, cheerleading, ballet, soccer, swimming and basketball. Over time, her disease made these activities nearly impossible – even simple tasks like walking and dressing herself became a challenge.
“She was in severe pain all of the time,” Angela says. “She has been hospitalized four times and had to undergo several medical tests.”
In August, Angela noticed an indention in Carrington’s right thigh. After having X-Rays and an MRI done, the doctor informed them that Carrington’s disease had progressed, causing the muscles in her leg to vanish. Immediately, she had to begin weekly infusion treatments and physical therapy.
Angela appreciates being able to stay at our Ronald McDonald House near Egleston because it is close to the hospital and provides her and Carrington with a “safe atmosphere.”
Angela and Carrington attended a Falcons game thanks to donated tickets from punter Bradley Pinion and enjoyed spending time with the players when they visited the House to serve our families dinner. “It brings us parents joy to see our kids running around playing and enjoying life with the Falcons and Freddie, regardless of their sickness,” Angela says.
“Without Atlanta RMHC, Carrington would not have been able to receive her weekly infusion treatments and physical therapy as an outpatient,” Angela says. “It is a beautiful place. The staff and volunteers are so nice. They make you feel welcomed and at home.”