Ronald McDonald House: Our comfort zone


The birth of a child should be a joyous occasion but Shalondra and Josh Rollins didn’t know if their newborn, Shyne, would survive.

Shyne (pronounced like ‘Sean’) was born with a rare sydrome of birth defects called VACTERL. He is facing many surgeries, including one to repair his heart.

As one can imagine, his parents rarely left his bedside for the first month, only coming to the Ronald McDonald House to briefly sleep. This took a huge toll on his mom, Shalondra.

“I didn’t realize it at first but hearing all the beeps and being in Shyne’s room for too long was adding so much to my stress,” she says. “When I come to the Ronald McDonald House, it’s so quiet and I can relax. It helps me so much.”

Dad, Josh, says the only way he can leave Shyne is knowing he’s just a block away at the House.

“We live in Ft. Payne, two hours away,” Josh says. “If something happened and we weren’t here, it would be awful.”

The Ronald McDonald House has also allowed Josh and Shalondra to bring their older children to Birmingham. This time together helps keep them connected and catch up on what’s new at school or with the kids’ activities. Their older kids love the play areas and going to baseball games at nearby Regions Field.

“The Ronald McDonald House helps us out so much,” Josh says. “It’s really a comfort zone for us. The people here are so family-oriented and they understand when you need help solving a problem.”

Shalondra and Josh can often be found in one of the Family Kitchens making a meal from scratch.

“I thought the Ronald McDonald House would give us a room to stay in but it’s so much more,” Shalondra says. “When I’m leaving the hospital to come to the House, I tell people I’m headed home. Because it feels like I’m home here and it’s so awesome.”

“We’re going through a hard time,” Josh says. “And if it wasn’t for your help, we wouldn’t be where we’re at in life. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.”

If you’d like to help families like Shyne’s, volunteer or make your best gift today!