Recently we received a phone call from the executive director of the LA Ronald McDonald House, who wanted to know if we would be willing to speak briefly at a board member retreat dinner for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California. They wanted to invite a family to share their experience with the board, and since we are relatively local it was possible for us to attend on short notice. I am so glad that we did. It was a really special experience. We shared Leah’s story with a room full of  people without whom we could not have gotten through the past year, because they make the Ronald McDonald Houses happen. They met one of the families they work so tirelessly to support. And we had the privilege of hearing the story of how the organization began, as shared by Fred Hill, whose daughter Kim’s illness was the catalyst for the creation of the first Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia nearly 40 years ago. It’s amazing how something so wonderful could grow out of something so devastating. They showed a video of Kim speaking when she was a little bit older, and she said she didn’t like being sick, but in a way she was glad it had happened because out of her illness this great thing had been created. Now that’s perspective! Unfortunately she passed away several years ago; the radiation she had as a child caused brain tumors later in life. So sad – but such a powerful story. It was a real honor to meet Fred and his wife Fran after the event, and they were gracious enough to take a photo with us.
Also, the food was really, really good.