Paying It Forward: Tia Holt and Friends Stock Family Room

Tia Holt knows firsthand the impact of the Ronald McDonald Family Room. “I know it is such a blessing for the families,” Tia says. “I know because it was a big blessing for me and my family.”

In 2018, Tia spent close to five weeks at Scottish Rite’s AFLAC Cancer and Blood Disorder Center and Ronald McDonald Family Room as she cared for her youngest daughter, Amber, who was battling anaplastic astrocytoma, a rare and aggressive brain tumor. Amber passed away on February 28, after a brave 15-month fight.

Tia Holt's daughter, Amber

Tia Holt’s daughter, Amber

“When the doctors told me her cancer was terminal, my family, friends and co-workers overwhelmed the Family Room,” Tia says. “Whether it was for extra space, a midnight snack or a hot meal, the Family Room was always ready and available. That made it easier for me to stay with and take care of Amber without having to worry about how to I was going to take care of myself.”

In honor of Amber’s one year “Angel Date,” Tia, with the help of family and friends, made a large donation of Wish List items to the Family Room. “It was important to me to do something in Amber’s memory that reflected the loving and kind person that she was. That’s why helping others, especially by donating to the Family Room, just made sense.”

Amber was such a “trooper,” says Tia. “She often worried about me when I was down and comforted me when I cried. She never complained about her health and she declared early in her journey that cancer didn’t define her.”

Before her death, Amber was ranked among the top 10 students in her class and participated in the marching band. She was a member JROTC, Avid and several other organizations and she was especially proud to be accepted into her dream college, Georgia Institute of Technology.

“Being able to access the Family Room and have the snacks, meals and just staying close to Amber, made such a difference,” Tia says. I want to bestow the same type of comfort that was given me to me while I cared for my daughter.”