‘Home-Away-From-Home’ for the Ellinburgs

“We were blown away with how beautiful the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House is, how kind the people are and how generous the community is,” says Elizabeth, mom to Amelia Ellinburg, 6.

Kindergartener Amelia, from Valdosta, Georgia, loves dance, dinosaurs and arts and crafts. She’s the oldest of three girls and takes her big sister role seriously.

During the week of Thanksgiving, Amelia’s parents took her to an ophthalmologist because she had a small bump on her eyelid. The doctor recommended that they leave his office and go straight to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

“We got on I-75 North and did not stop until we were at the ER,” Elizabeth says. “Our world stopped when we were given the unexpected news that Amelia had cancer.”

After Amelia was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, Elizabeth worried about where they would stay during Amelia’s treatment. Valdosta is four hours away and coming to Atlanta with three little girls sounded “daunting.”

“When we found out about the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House, Amelia’s treatment finally felt possible,” Elizabeth says of staying at our House near Scottish Rite while Amelia receives weekly chemotherapy and daily proton therapy.

“We have never had to hunt down a hotel that would be close to the hospital or call around to see who had the best rates and served breakfast,” Elizabeth says.

Amelia spends most of her free time at our House in the arts and crafts room or treehouse. She loves to play dress up and enjoys getting her favorite gummies from the pantry.

The Atlanta Ronald McDonald House has become a home-away-from-home for the Ellinburgs. “It’s so nice to be remembered and make friends who are outside of the hospital,” Elizabeth says.

“During a chaotic time in our life, we have found peace and rest at the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House.”

Amelia Ellinburg and her sisters