Family from Costa Rica Thankful for Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill
In Time of Need:
Family from Costa Rica Turns to Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill
It’s any parent’s worst nightmare, finding out their child has a life-threatening illness, and there’s no doctor who can help with treatment. This was Grettel Gonzalez Elizondo’s reality. Doctors in Costa Rica diagnosed her 12-year-old son, Sebastian, with desmoplastic small round cell tumor, a rare form of abdominal cancer.
“In the country of Costa Rica, there was no medical experience with that,” said Gonzalez Elizondo. “During surgery last year, he lost a kidney to the cancer.”
Sebastian’s family would soon find out that their answer to prayer was more than 3,500 miles away in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Dr. Andrea Hayes-Jordan is the Surgeon-in-Chief at N.C. Children’s Hospital and one of few doctors in the world specialized in treating Sebastian’s rare cancer.
“The procedure I pioneered is for a very rare cancer that affects children usually from 5-18 years old. In this particular cancer, unfortunately, the children [have] dozens to hundreds of tumors that coat almost all the organs in the abdominal cavity,” explained Dr. Hayes-Jordan.
“It’s very hard, we miss family, the food, but we are so happy here,” said Gonzalez Elizondo. “It’s like being at home.”
Dr. Hayes-Jordan is thankful her patients and their families have a place like the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill to turn to in a desperate time of need.
“I really think the Ronald McDonald Houses are an incredible support for our children. Many of these children need a year to two years of chemotherapy, every three to four weeks,” said Dr. Hayes-Jordan, “to have some place like the Ronald McDonald House where their families can enjoy other families, provide support for each other and also allow the children a wonderful and beautiful environment to relax without any worries once they’re here.”
You can see more of Sebastian’s story and share it with your family and friends by clicking here.
Telethon Raises More than $22,000 for RMH of Eastern NC
More than $22,000 was raised for the Ronald McDonald House of Eastern North Carolina during the Second Annual WNCT Telethon on August 3rd. This exceeded the House’s goal of $20,000! From 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., volunteers manned the phones as viewers called in to make a pledge in honor of local families. Thank you to everyone who participated!
If you or someone you know would still like to make a donation, click on this link.
September 22nd: The Ronald McDonald House of Eastern NC is hosting its 7th Annual Character Breakfast. This event is a great way for the community to have some fun while supporting the families that stay at the House. Guests will enjoy a McDonald’s pancake breakfast, a character parade, face painting, carnival games, and more. You can find more information at this link.
September 22nd: A whole new world awaits at the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte’s 4th Annual Storybook Ball! This Aladdin-themed gala will be the House’s most momentous event of the year, featuring a live auction, dinner and dancing. For more information on tickets, visit the House’s website.
October 20th: Friends of the Ronald McDonald House of Winston-Salem will help celebrate the House’s 9th Annual Character Breakfast. The event will feature favorite princesses, superheroes and storybook characters. For more information on the event and how to purchase tickets, visit the House’s website.
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RMHC is recognized as a public charity under Internal Revenue Code section 509(a) and has 501(c)(3) status. Donations to RMHC are deductible. Donors should consult their tax advisor for questions regarding deductibility. The RMHC EIN is 36-2934689. A copy of the RMHC determination letter is available upon request.