Meet the Culberson Family

This Mother’s Day will be like any other day for Ronald McDonald House mothers – a long day full of waiting and worrying about their ill or injured child. And at the end of the day, these mothers will find care and comfort at their “home-away-from-home, one of our two Atlanta Ronald McDonald Houses. At Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities (ARMHC) we are constantly reminded of the bond between mother and child, and for mother Amy Culberson, this bond was only strengthened during her stay.

Imagine the horror of watching your child unable to fulfill a basic need – eating. That is exactly what happened to four-year-old Laura Grace Culberson, who was born with severe reflux. This condition caused her to fear food because of the traumatic affects it had on her body. Laura Grace became dependent on formula and refused to eat solid foods. After seeking care near the family’s home in Augusta, Laura Grace’s doctor recommended treatment in Atlanta.

colberson family play timeOn Thanksgiving Day 2013, Amy and her two young children, Joshua and Laura Grace, arrived at our Ronald McDonald House on Gatewood Road. While staying at the House, Amy was able to be involved in Laura Grace’s daily therapy and learn how to best care for her daughter as she relearned to eat. Amy’s husband Matt continued working back home in Augusta as an orthodontist and would come for occasional visits on the weekends. Amy said staying at the House made her feel less alone because she developed friendships with other moms going through similar situations.

This spring the Culberson family is reunited and Laura Grace is a healthy bundle of energy who enjoys trying new foods. Amy is confident staying at the House made a dramatic improvement in Laura Grace’s recovery.

“I’m amazed at the generosity of the volunteers and donors. While staying at the House, every one of our needs was met and we had fun together in the evenings,” said Amy. “As a mom of two that was a huge relief to see my kids happy.”

The Culberson family stayed 47 nights at our House near Egleston; however, countless other families have spent 100 nights or more. No matter the length of stay, a Ronald McDonald House mom will always remember the comforting feeling she had when she walked in the door and smelled a home-cooked meal and when she laid her head to rest in a comfortable bed instead of a waiting room chair.

While mothers staying at either of our Houses will likely forget to take a moment for themselves on this day of celebration, we hope you will consider making a gift to Atlanta Ronald McDonald House Charities in their honor. By honoring your mother or a special person in your life with a gift to ARMHC, you are honoring an ARMHC mom and helping her celebrate this meaningful day.

To all the mothers who make our world a better place, we wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day.

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