From Alumni Families

We first came to Ronald McDonald House in August of 2014. My son Brody and I arrived to Rochester via helicopter because a CT scan near us showed a mass in the back of his head. This was the beginning of our story—finding out that Brody has a type of brain tumor called medulloblastoma, and it would require surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. 

We live nearly three hours away, so traveling in every day was not an option. RMHC was dumped in our laps as a place to stay in Rochester. There were many things getting dumped on us at the time, and it was nice to have one that was a good thing! Having a place to stay for our entire family (four of us in total) is extremely helpful.

My first impression was one of feeling overwhelmed by everything going on, and then to have this amazing “house” available for us was indescribable. One less thing to worry about. The house, which is really like a house and a hotel all together, is perfect for families that really just want to be there for their kid’s stuff, not worrying about a place to stay or how to pay for it, or at least one meal a day.

RMHC is truly a home away from home for us. We walk in, are comfortable, recognized, and it feels like our second home at this point. There is a vast kitchen at our disposal, many family rooms (with TVs, movies, games and books), laundry, computers and of course the private rooms/bathrooms. Brody and I are partial to the big family room downstairs for watching movies!

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“We started staying at the Ronald McDonald House in 2000 when my son Ian Scott Hosler went into Strong Memorial Hospital for a liver transplant. We had been traveling to the hospital from Malone, N.Y., since February 1999, when he’d been diagnosed with a rare genetic urea cycle disorder, arginino succinic acid lyase deficiency. He was missing the #5 enzyme in his liver, which meant he was unable to break down protein.

The first time we stayed at the house, we were there for just about three months. Our first impression was that it was so much bigger than the one we had stayed at in Burlington, Vt.; however the welcoming feeling was the same.

RMHC is always great with making sure families have what they need during their stay—there are always goodies in the kitchen and most nights a hot meal is being served after a stressful day of being at the hospital, which gives you a break from eating cafeteria or vending-machine food. My son’s favorite part is the little play area off the kitchen! When we come back to the house after a long day, he goes in the play area and has a terrific time while I make us something to eat.

We have been making the trip to Strong for 18 years this coming February and have been staying at RMHC of Rochester for 16 years this September. There are a couple of people who have definitely helped us throughout the years, but the main one, I would have to say, would be Cher, the house manager. She has always gone out of her way to... Read More

At RMHC, our families mean everything to us. Michael Pingicer, a member of one of our past families, reached out to share his story. Read it below:

“Our daughter Hazel was born on December 17, 2014, with a severe life-threatening congenital heart defect called dextro-Transposition of the Great Arteries (d-TGA). She had a cardiac catheter procedure immediately after birth and then open heart surgery when she was five days old. My wife, Kelly, and I moved into a room at the House Within the Hospital when she was three days old and stayed for three weeks.

That winter was full of storms and lots of snow. When Kelly was seven months pregnant with Hazel, we moved to upstate New York for a new job and settled in Seneca Falls, about an hour east of Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong Memorial. In addition to the usual first-time parent nervousness, we were full of trepidation about our situation—we didn’t know many people in the area and we were filled with uncertainty about our baby’s health. By the time we got a room at RMHC, we were numb with worry and so very tired from the childbirth and all the tests they were doing with Hazel. It was such a relief to stay with RMHC, particularly the very special House Within the Hospital.  

The common areas immediately helped us to feel at home, with a warm and inviting atmosphere. It was just this incredible safety net where the staff knew what we needed almost before we did. There were so many little things... Read More

At RMHC, our families mean everything to us. Michael Yencer, a member of one of our past families, reached out to share his story. Read it below:

"On June 22, 2015, my wife, Brittany Yencer, was admitted to Strong Memorial Hospital with preeclampsia with HELP syndrome at a little over 25 weeks. Over the next couple of days, the doctors did what they could and on, June 25, 2015, Collin James Yencer was born at 1 lb. 2 oz. through an emergency C-section.

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At RMHC, our families mean everything to us. Tracey Purdy, a member of one of our past families, reached out to share her story. Read it below:

“Blake was born in Geneva, NY, in November 2012. At a week old, he was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital. During his stay, Blake was diagnosed with non-compaction cardiomyopathy and we were told he needed a heart transplant to survive. 

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