A letter from Jess, Paisley’s mom:
Dear Donors of Cincinnati’s Ronald McDonald House,
Thank you for giving to a charity that has provided us more than just a home. I applaud how you have recognized that this nonprofit is deserving of your generosity, to operate and support families such as ours that are traveling for their child’s medical care. I have learned there are over 375 homes around the globe, but this one here in Cincinnati is the largest in the world and it is spectacular.
Our Paisley was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia shortly after her first birthday. She completed three rounds of intense inpatient chemotherapy in our hometown of Cleveland. Due to a genetic mutation that put her into a high-risk category, a bone marrow transplant was her best option.
After extensive research we found that Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, right in our home state, was the place our daughter would receive exceptionally skilled care at one of the best pediatric institutions in the country. With the added advantage of Ronald McDonald House just footsteps away, it makes one powerful combination showcasing how the Queen City is putting kids first.
Paisley was born during COVID and has yet to have many public appearances. When we came for our first short-term stay at RMH for pre-transplant evaluation, Paisley experienced the true magic of this House. She used her toy ticket for a visit to the gift closet, explored the indoor playground, got creative with dry erase markers, paint and stickers in the art room, gave kudos to the volunteers preparing our meals, and touched every Lego in the playroom (which I then sanitized). It was Paisley’s vacation before locking back down for the hardest part of her fight against cancer.
As a mother, I walk through the front door and can honestly feel some anxiety relief. This House is an exceptionally clean environment full of kind staff and warm-hearted volunteers. They keep us nourished with multiple meals a day, which we could also pack up to take to our hospital room. The incredible beds are luxurious and steps above the couch pullouts of the hospital room. We are so grateful that we were able to have a space to call our own.
During Paisley’s two-month inpatient stay, including 10 critical days in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, our RMH room was the one option my husband and I had to take a moment to care for ourselves. It provided a place where we could quickly refresh and recharge before returning to Paisley’s side. After Paisley’s discharge, she still had over a month filled with follow-up appointments.
Paisley’s lack of immune system is one reason we are required to stay in town for 100 days following her bone marrow transplant. We all stayed together in our home-away-from-home and are especially thankful Paisley could do so within the isolated wing. During this fragile time of her recovery, the RMH provided peace of mind with the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Emergency Room in view from our window. When Paisley spiked a fever we experienced the benefit of this proximity and the expedited access to antibiotics.
As we near check out of our long-term stay, I wanted to use this message to capture the positive experience we have had at this Ronald McDonald House. When we travel again to Cincinnati for milestone check-ins of Paisley’s progress, we will do so with ease knowing that we have an option for a short term stay at this familiar location. I believe any of Paisley’s fearful thoughts about a return to the doctors will be overshadowed by her excitement for seeing her RMH family, fish tank friends and latest book collection in the library.
I truly do not know what our family would have done without this beautiful Ronald McDonald House that has provided us space to stay together and next door to world class medical care for our daughter. The staff keeps us comforted, the chefs keep our bellies full, and the volunteers showcase the good people in this community. I have witnessed firsthand the impact of your donations to this House built on love. It feels as though every dollar has purposeful thought in what it goes towards, to keep this organization running brilliantly.
With heartfelt thanks,
Mother of a Warrior & Grateful Occupant of Cincinnati’s Ronald McDonald House