10 Apr Volunteer Spotlight: Marcia & Howard Rohan
Marcia and Howard Rohan have been residents of Brookhaven for more than 35 years. They have three children and live in a blossoming neighborhood. But when their 18-year-old son Jason was in a head-on car accident in 1990, their lives changed forever.
“One moment the world is one way, the way it’s supposed to be, and the next moment your life is turned upside down,” Marcia said. “Although the accident happened 25 years ago and Jason is doing well today, the emotion of it never completely fades. It’s raw, real and I can bring myself right back to that night.”
Jason was the third child in the Rohan’s neighborhood to suffer from a brain injury during a span of nine months. Their community was shaken, but the Rohan’s were overwhelmed with how supportive their community remained.
“The two other families encouraged and uplifted us during our experience and we were able to do the same for them,” described Marcia. “Because of the impact our support system had on us, we wanted to do the same for others.”
Not long after Jason’s accident, the Rohan’s fulfilled their promise to help others by becoming volunteers at our House near Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite. The Peachtree Dunwoody House location is one of our two Houses that provide accommodations and support services for families with ill and injured children. Since the Rohan’s first volunteered in 2004, their story has become a beacon of hope at the House. They empathize with the families and understand that words like cancer, accident, or transplant are words that change a child’s life as well as the lives of the entire family.
“My own family’s experience has helped me remember that bad days happen but it makes the victories all the more meaningful,” Marcia said. “We love being able to laugh, cry, and celebrate with the families at ARMHC. It’s a safe haven for them to be exactly where they are, deal with their circumstances in the ways that feel most natural to them, but most importantly- to be together.”
The day that Marcia and Howard first walked into the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House, they knew it was where they were meant to serve. Today, they can be found making a meal for the families and sharing the joys of being a volunteer. Although the families at the Houses are experiencing devastating circumstances, they are encouraged and uplifted by volunteers like Marcia and Howard. When Marcia encourages others to volunteer for one of the Houses, she tells them, “It’s a happy place.”
“Marcia and Howard Rohan are two of the most generous and caring individuals and amazing volunteers. They give their whole heart to Atlanta RMHC and the families that we serve. They bring a smile to everyone’s faces every Monday night when they walk through the front doors of our House.”
– Jessica, our Volunteer Manager at our House near Scottish Rite
Volunteers are the heartbeat of the Houses. They help support worried parents so they can focus on what matters most, the health of their child. This April, Volunteer Appreciation Month, we’re celebrating the Rohans and the many other amazing Volunteers that make our House feel like HOME.