Gracie Giles at home

Giles Family Story: Thriving and growing with RMHCA

Baby Gracie was born at 26 weeks weighing 2 pounds and 4 ounces. “She always has her eyes open,” proud mom Ambrosha shares. “She has fire.” Ambrosha’s family is no stranger to preemie babies. “[My mom] went through the same thing with me, as a 26 weeker,” Ambrosha says. Gracie was born on August 24…

First time holding Ellie

Dillard Family Story: Overnight arrival? RMHCA has families covered

Many families arrive in Birmingham in medical crisis with only the clothes on their backs, unsure of where to go or even turn for help. The Ronald McDonald House and now our Ronald McDonald Family Room at UAB Women & Infants Center can provide reassurance and a home away from home, no matter what time…

Christian Duncan plays in the play kitchen.

Family Story: Christian has family with him while battling cancer

To date in 2019, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama has provided comfort and care for 64 families who are battling childhood cancer. This serious diagnosis is consistently one of the top 5 reasons a family needs our Ronald McDonald House. Children like Christian need, and deserve, to have their parents and loved ones nearby…

Ivokisha and Javaras Grayson pose for a photo on the playground.

Family Story: Graysons find much needed rest and peace

Ronald McDonald House families travel the furthest for care and spend the longest time in the hospital. Every three weeks for more than a year, the Grayson family has made the five-hour trip from Mobile to Birmingham for Jarvas Jr.’s care. Jarvas, 16, lives with sickle cell disease, diabetes and a vascular disorder called Moyamoya…

Pickens Family photo of mom and dad holding baby boy.

Family Story: Four hours from home, forever grateful

The following story was written by Stephanie Pickens about her family’s recent stay at the Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham. When we received the news that our son Asher would be transported to the UAB NICU, four hours away from home, we were overwhelmed and scared. We kept thinking, where would we stay for such…

Jana’s Journey: Staff member Lisa gives back after staying at RMHCA

For our 40th anniversary month, we wanted to share a special story that represents the decades-long impact RMHCA has made on families. We’re proud to bring you Jana’s Journey, written by her mom Lisa VanZandt. Hi, my name is Lisa and I am a former guest, volunteer and a current employee at the Ronald McDonald…

Mr. and Mrs. Chapman with the Southeastern School softball team.

Former guest family honors daughter’s memory by hosting $3,000 fundraiser for RMHCA

Each year, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama helps hundreds of families stay together when they need it most. One of those families, the Chapmans, shared their story of hope, struggle, and how they decided to give back. Bryon and Hannah Chapman of Remlap, Alabama are both teachers and coaches at Southeastern School. On August…

Baby Emmalyn Carter sleeps with a knitted bunny ear hat on.

Family Story: Little Things Make a Big Difference

They say a mother’s intuition is never wrong; this proved particularly true for the Carter family. One morning early in her third trimester, mom-to-be Sarah Carter began feeling unwell and knew she needed to get to the doctor. After a round of tests, she was diagnosed with HELLP, a serious syndrome which raised major concerns…

Dustin, Ava, Caitlyn and Skye Rigsbee. Source: Family

Family Story: ‘I can be a mom to all 3 of my kids because of the Ronald McDonald House’

A mom wants nothing more than to have her family all together, especially on Mother’s Day. Every day of the year, the mission of the Ronald McDonald House is to give mothers like Caitlyn Rigsbee that wish. She and her husband Dustin are parents to three children and the newest addition to their family, Oakley,…

Dorinda and Kaley love on Knox

Family Story: Two generations of moms support preemie baby

Mother’s Day is a time to thank the mothers in our lives for their unconditional love and support. It’s also a time for us to celebrate the unending strength and determination a mother has in taking care of her children, especially when they are sick or injured. Kaley Plunkett and her mom Dorinda Littrell have…

The Parks family poses for a photo

Family Story: A short trip for a lifetime of love

  Last fall, Aaron and Erika Parks of Dothan received news that would change their lives: they were having a girl! There was just one little difference:  the Parks had waited years to adopt and now they needed to get on a plane to go get their new addition! So they left their older children…

Emory and Rachel Gordon

Gordon Family Story: Our ‘new home’ at the Ronald McDonald House

Globally, more than 40% of Ronald McDonald House families have a premature baby. Your support means so much to these new parents who are facing so many challenges and the scariest one of all is figuring out how to stay close to their baby fighting in the NICU. Read more about one of the families…

Karr family with Aria in the NICU

Red Shoe Run Team Thursday: The Karrs are running to help other families like them

This Thursday, we’re highlighting the Karr family and their efforts to give back to the charity after a stay with us last year. Read more from Brooke Karr on their experience at the Ronald McDonald House! Tell me a little bit about how your family came to stay at the Ronald McDonald House. We were…

Family Story: Ma’kailyn the Heart Warrior

 Ma’kailyn Phillips-Betton isn’t quite 2-years-old yet but she’s fought through more than some adults. She was born with two heart defects and spent the first three months of her life in the hospital in Birmingham. As you could imagine, it was stressful and scary for her mother, Chiquita, to see her daughter that sick while…

Emery, Emanuel, Eboni and Emerson. (Courtesy: Stephens family)

Former guest family called to give back through Red Shoe Run

Eboni and Emanuel Stephens truly know how much uncertainty, hope and joy families at the Ronald McDonald House go through. In February of 2015, they found themselves scrambling to make arrangements when their twins, Emery and Emanuel Jr. were born prematurely. After the twins were admitted to the NICU at Brookwood Hospital, traveling every day…

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