Jack and Owen Walker’s Family

When Jack Walker had surgery at 4 months old to repair a congenital heart defect, his family was grateful to be introduced to Ronald McDonald House, where Amy and Bryan were able to stay with their daughter, Evelyn, and close to Jack during his surgery and recovery. They were so inspired by the support they received that they decided to start an annual fundraiser to create care packages for families.

Unimaginably, two years later, the Walker family returned to Ronald McDonald House when their youngest son Owen was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Luckily, the Walker family knew from their first experience what a difference staying at Ronald McDonald House made.

“The hospital where Owen was being treated was so full that they sent us home to do chemo,” Amy remembered. “We didn’t want to be far from the hospital, so we booked a hotel for a few days, but it wasn’t comfortable and didn’t feel clean enough for Owen while he was sick. We were so relieved to stay at Ronald McDonald House – I knew they understood what we needed during that time so we could care for all three of our kids.”

Today, both boys are doing well and excited to be back at school – Jack beginning first grade and Owen starting preschool.

For the past 6 years, the family has held their Give Thanks fundraiser to create gifts boxes for families that include blankets, reusable water bottles, travel games, kid’s books, snacks, gift cards, decorations for a child’s hospital room, and stationary.

“When we were in the hospital and I wanted to write a thank you note to someone who was caring for us, I didn’t have anything to write on,” Amy recalled. “That was a small thing I remembered from our time and wanted to make sure we included it.”