29 Aug Comfort in the Chaos of Cancer
In 2016 my son Tripp should have been starting first grade. Instead, he was starting chemotherapy.
Three weeks after giving birth to my daughter Blake, I took my 6-year-old son Tripp to the doctor for leg pain and low-grade fevers. Doctors at our local hospital in Adel, Georgia, discovered that Tripp had a mass around his adrenal glands and immediately scheduled an appointment for him 4 hours away.
In Atlanta, Tripp was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma. He needed surgery immediately.
My husband Gabe and I came here with only an overnight bag. I don’t know what we would have done if it weren’t for Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities.
I had a sick child in the hospital who needed me and a newborn who needed me too. Because of Atlanta RMHC, I never had to choose between my children. I was able to hold Tripp’s hand while he battled cancer and come back to the House several times a day to bond with my newborn daughter.
The House really was such a blessing because Gabe, my husband, and I would trade out. He would stay with Tripp, and I would come to the House to take care of our newborn, and then we would switch.
Tripp would have 5 induction rounds of chemotherapy, 5 surgeries, 24 rounds of radiation, 2 bone marrow transplants, and more than 10 rounds of targeted antibody treatments. My son battled and beat cancer not once — but twice — in 3 years.
The House was there to help us every step of the way. People always ask me what it was like to stay here, and I tell them it’s just like being at home.
It was hard — what we had to go through, but it was easier because we had support and a place for our family to stay. At the Ronald McDonald House, you can have visitors, so my parents and Gabe’s could check in and see the kids play and see our newborn grow up a little bit.
The Ronald McDonald House was the only stability my family had at a time when everything else felt so chaotic and uncertain.
One thing is certain during these challenging times, when you give to Atlanta RMHC, you can make a big difference. You are not just helping sick kids; you are supporting entire families like mine.