Capps Family Story: There are not enough thank yous

The drive from Elba, Alabama to Birmingham is 167 miles. Even with access to I-65, the trip takes three hours, one way. It probably doesn’t sound that fun to you, but imagine if you also had two children along for the ride and one of them has to attend daily physical therapy sessions at Children’s of Alabama.

Now that drive sounds even less fun, right?

The Capps family.

Colby, Cate and Nichole Capps. Source: Capps family

That was the reality faced by the Capps family. Nichole and Colby’s daughter, Cate, has cerebral palsy, which affects body movement and muscle coordination. To help 5-year-old Cate strengthen her right arm, therapists constrain her her left arm (currently the stronger one) in a cast. This forces Cate to use that right arm, improving her strength and coordination.

Cate hard at work in constraint therapy. Source: Capps family

Cate hard at work in constraint therapy. Source: Capps family

Cate plays the harp as part of her constraint therapy. Source: Capps family

Cate plays the harp in constraint therapy. Source: Capps family

To really make progress, Cate has to attend therapy every day during certain times of the year. Remember that drive?

“We could not come three hours every day, one way, to get daily therapy,” Nichole said emphatically, shaking her head. “Cate is exhausted after. She begs, “Can we got back to the room and take a nap?'”

Nichole says she was not familiar with the charity when Cate first started constraint therapy at Children’s of Alabama, just before she turned 2-years-old. She says at first, they tried staying with friends in Alex City to cut the drive time but that’s still an hour and a half away. Cate’s therapists encouraged the Capps to stay at the House and Nichole says she and her husband are glad they did!

“Cate gets so excited to come and asks daily, “When do we get to come to the Ronald McDonald House?'” Nichole said. “And my husband likes it because he feels like we are taken care of.”

Nichole says the benefits of stay at the Ronald McDonald House go beyond being close to Cate’s therapists.

There are many children who attend constraint therapy every year at Children’s of Alabama, and the Capps have found friendship with some of those families who also stay at the House, as well as the staff members.

The Capps family celebrates Cate's birthday with other RMHCA families. Source: Capps family

The Capps family celebrates Cate’s birthday with other RMHCA families. Source: Capps family

“Every year, we look forward to coming and seeing these people. I love the camaraderie we share with other parents, who understand what it’s like to have a child with a disability or a child that has to have frequent doctor appointments,” Nichole said. “They have become like family.”

Nichole starts to get emotional when she thinks about the people who support the House.

“If it wasn’t for people’s donations…I don’t know where we would be. There are not enough thank yous to say how much we appreciate the Ronald McDonald House and how much they have done for our family,” she said.

“I think what people need to know about donating to the Ronald McDonald House is that they’re doing more than just giving money or donating items. They are giving parents a peace of mind. When you’re a parent and you’re having to do something daily that is a struggle…when you know that you have a hot meal or you need toothpaste and you forgot it because you’re stressed, it’s here, you don’t have to worry,” Nichole explained.

Cole, Cate's little brother, can also stay at RMHCA. Source: Capps family

Cole, Cate’s little brother, can also stay at RMHCA. Source: Capps family

We hope that you enjoyed hearing from the Capps family and RMHCA would like to extend our own thank you to each and every person who has supported our charity. Without your generosity of giving and spirit, we could not provide comfort and care for families in need.

If you would like to make a donation today, visit our donation page.

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