Tom and Marjorie Reichard will never forget the day they adopted and welcomed 1-year-old Maddy into their lives. While celebrating this milestone day, Tom and Marjorie knew they wanted to get Maddy the best medical care.
Traveling from Houston, Texas, they brought Maddy to Chicago to receive treatment for congenital melanocytic nevus, a large birthmark covering half of her face. Specialists often advise parents to have the cells that form the birthmark removed; otherwise, they can have a high-risk of turning cancerous as the child grows older.
Knowing Maddy’s treatment would involve a series of surgical procedures over time, Tom and Marjorie were grateful to learn about Ronald McDonald House®. Maddy and her family have called our Ronald McDonald House® near Lurie Children’s their ‘home away from home’ since September of 2012 where they stayed with us for the first time, just months after the House celebrated its grand opening.
“For Maddy, RMH near Lurie Children’s is her second home. We have celebrated birthdays, holidays, and other milestones here. Last Christmas, Maddy eagerly awaited Santa’s arrival while enjoying all of the holiday activities. There truly has never been a better Christmas for our family.”
“People come to the House to take a break, enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal prepared by wonderful volunteers, and get some sleep. But you come away with so much more. The families who stay here build each other up, volunteers offer loving support, and the staff always goes out of their way to help,” shared Marjorie.
Maddy’s personality and spirit have truly blossomed during her time at the House. She has made close friendships with other kids at the House and has become very close to several staff members. She loves visiting the fifth floor to say “Hi” to the team and she’ll often ask if “the spa is open” where she’ll get her nails painted with a bright, new color. She loves reading books and tries to sneak in a quick afternoon story. Maddy also loves movie nights at the House where she gets to gather with friends from all over the world, snuggle into a bean bag chair and enjoy some freshly popped popcorn.
Over the past four years, Maddy has undergone a total of fourteen surgeries, eleven of those taking place here in Chicago. Thankfully today, she’s almost finished with treatment and only has a few more surgeries left. Due to the support of many, the House will be here for all of her remaining appointments and procedures.