14 Nov Cailen Rundles and Mom Give Back Through Ronald’s Holiday Shop
“I wish everyone truly knew how much Atlanta RMHC does for families and how they make people feel at home,” says Emily Burnett, mom to Cailen Rundles, 18.
In May, Cailen was diagnosed with a rare, fast-growing, form of cancer, Rhabdomyosarcoma. Emily and Cailen are staying with us while he has weekly chemotherapy, radiation five times a week and extensive physical therapy.
Emily and Cailen, from Dahlonega, Georgia, first came to stay at our Ronald McDonald House near Scottish Rite in June 2016 when Cailen suffered a traumatic brain injury. They stayed until March 2017 while Cailen was in the rehab day program learning to walk and talk again.
Through 2020, many surgeries brought Cailen and Emily back to stay at our House for up to three months at a time. “His treatments would have never been possible without Atlanta RMHC,” Emily says.
Bonding with other families and the warm welcomes from staff and volunteers make a difference for Emily. “They make this place our home away from home,” she says. Cailen enjoys playing video games in the game room and meeting new people.
Cailen and his mother have spent four holiday seasons with us and are looking forward to their fifth this year. They love Christmas time at the House and are excited to begin collecting gifts for Santa’s Workshop. They started this tradition, a few years ago, to give back to Atlanta RMHC.
“Atlanta RMHC helps give Cailen a chance to beat this cancer,” Emily says. She encourages others to donate or volunteer at Atlanta RMHC. “I always tell my friends to please Round-Up at McDonald’s or donate to Atlanta RMHC so it can continue to help families in need.”