Madelyn’s Story

Jenelyn and John C. of Decatur, Ala. were overjoyed when they found out Jenelyn was pregnant. Jenelyn says everything was going well in her first trimester, with no serious nausea or discomfort.

Then the couple received some shocking news at a regular ultrasound appointment. Doctors told Jenelyn and John that their little girl wasn’t developing her limbs.

“I couldn’t believe it because I felt so normal,” Jenelyn says. “It wasn’t sinking in and at first it was hard to accept the situation. I blamed myself and I asked God, ‘Why me?’ What did I do wrong, what did I eat?”

Jenelyn and John were referred to multiple doctors for more opinions and information but she says it was stressful and disheartening.

The couple forged ahead and welcomed Madelyn on August 11, 2020. The very next day, she needed surgery to create a temporary colostomy. Madelyn would need to gain weight and grow stronger for another surgery. By August 14, Jenelyn was settled in at the Ronald McDonald House. John did have to return to their home in Decatur to continue working so your support of our mission ensures that we can provide Jenelyn all the support she needs.

Baby in a hospital bed

“Staying at the Ronald McDonald House is a big help and blessing for me and my family. It is walking distance away from my little precious girl, especially since I do not have a car,” Jenelyn explains.


Baby in infant Snow White outfit

Keeping our doors open is about more than convenience. You lift so much stress off parents like Jenelyn.

“After a long, exhausted day in the hospital I come back to the House to have a little break and rest,” she says. “I feel so calm, peaceful and refreshed. I can lay down in the bed and watched TV; I don’t need to worry about food because volunteers  have dropped off meals; and I also can do my laundry.”

Dad, Mom and baby pose together

Madelyn still has some time left on her hospital stay, but you can feel confident that your love and support of our mission means Jenelyn will be by her side.

“Everything makes me feel so welcome, it’s like a feeling of home away from home. I am so thankful and grateful for being near to Madelyn and to be able to visit my baby every day, anytime,” Jenelyn says.

Thank you so much for helping keep families like Jenelyn’s together during a medical journey! Our services are free of charge to all guest families because YOU believe in our mission. Please share this story to let others know they can help too!

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