Heroes Don’t Always Wear Capes: Meet the Delaneys

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes and don’t always wear capes. Take the Delaneys. Amy and Derron Delaney from Calhoun, Georgia, are parents of 10 children. Four have graduated from college. Six are between the ages of 12 to 16 and remain at home with special needs.

Eight of the Delaney’s children are adopted. This journey began when Amy and Derron married and learned they could not have children together. Their first adopted son came from the foster care system. They soon learned he had a rare blood disease that required a bone marrow transplant.

Frequent Hospital Visits

During Amy’s frequent visits to the hospital, she began to notice children alone in the hallways. She was surprised to learn that the vast majority of the children were alone because they were orphans and wards of the state.

To the Delaneys, it didn’t seem right that children had to face any illness alone. That was when they decided to only adopt special needs children and they adopted one child leading to the next.

“When we adopted Malachi, who lived in the hospital by himself four years ago, I saw there were a lot of children with special needs who had been abandoned,” Amy says. “We wanted to change that.”

Malachi and daughter, Lexi, both 12, have Treacher Collins syndrome, a craniofacial condition that results deafness and facial abnormalities. They both undergo frequent facial reconstruction surgeries. Combined, they have had a total of 23 surgeries. The week of July 1, Malachi will undergo a 10- to 12-hour facial reconstruction surgery.

House Near Scottish Rite

Amy with Lexi and Malachi at the House near Scottish Rite

Our Ronald McDonald House near Scottish Rite serves as a place of rest for Malachi and Lexi. Malachi’s favorite place to be is the game room. “I don’t have to think about being in the hospital,” Malachi says. “The games keep me from worrying about surgery.”

Lexi enjoys seeing her friends at the House and in the hospital. Her mom Amy says, “It provides good continuity for her.”

“My family and friends don’t understand my anxiety about my surgeries,” Lexi says. “When I am at the House, I can relax.” Amy says the House is a good place for Lexi to ease into surgery and have time to recover afterward.

“The Ronald McDonald House provides a smooth transition from home to medical care —friendly staff who greet us like family,” Amy says. “Activities serve as a much-needed distraction from what’s happening next. Seeing their friends again and meeting new ones also helps. Volunteers are willing to nurture both appetites, feeding hunger and feeding souls.

“My children have given, by far, the best reason for us to feel great about having access to the Ronald McDonald House,” Amy says. “The sense of comfort and stability that a child feels as a result of being at the House is an immeasurable gift. That piece of mind for a caregiver/advocate is priceless.”

Will you join the Delaneys as a Hero for children, keeping them close to their families and the life-saving care they need? For as little as $10 a month you can keep a family together. Join House Heroes today.