Andrew and family

Triumph Over Tumor

Six months ago our 11-year- old son Andrew had surgery to remove a brain tumor.

After spending weeks in the intensive care unit at Egleston, Andrew was transferred to Scottish Rite and hospitalized for another month as doctors worked to stabilize him. While they were successful in removing the tumor, Andrew no longer has a pituitary gland or functioning hypothalamus. He would need therapy to relearn to walk, dress himself and other daily functions we tend to take for granted.

On September 15, Andrew was accepted into the Day Rehab program at Scottish Rite. With home more than 260 miles away, my family and I needed a place to stay so we could remain close to Andrew.

Once we started his rehabilitation, we stayed at the Ronald McDonald House for 46 nights. The House supplied a lot of the things we take for granted every day–having a hot meal, a place to cook and a place to sleep. You don’t think about the little things like the bills piling up at home. You are worried about your child, but still have your mortgage, utility bills and more… on top of all the hospital bills.

Without your support, my family would be bankrupt. 

We were in Atlanta for 3 long months. The Ronald McDonald House was a bright light in our family’s life during this time. It was a place where we found happy memories and an extended and blended family of other children and parents on our same journey.

One of Andrew’s favorite memories during our stay was watching the Atlanta Braves beat the Phillies at the SunTrust Park stadium. He was also excited to meet the Atlanta Falcons when they came to host Trunk or Treat at Halloween and loved spending time with Betty Lou, the Charity’s therapy dog. My wife Angie and I fondly recall pulling tables together at dinner to celebrate milestones with our new Ronald McDonald House family.

You will never know the impact you had on my family’s life—and others, just like ours!

We are forever indebted to you for supporting our family and making these memories possible.

—Russell Melligan