By becoming a dancer or sponsor of BobcaThon, you help our organization raise money for families of children with serious illnesses who rely on the Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio for comfort while their children are in the hospital.
Watch this video to learn more about how BobcaThon helps the families at the Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio:
Ronald McDonald House Charities help keep families close, even here in Athens, Ohio. Meet Violet Lehman, a five-year-old girl with Epilepsy whose family has received help from RMH of Central Ohio for nearly three years:
On December 5, 2014, Violet Lehman collapsed and began convulsing during preschool. She was rushed to the ER, where they determined she had Epilepsy. In less than three months, Violet experienced multiple EEGs, extended hospital stays, ambulance rides and four medical changes as her team at Cleveland Clinic raced to find a combination to solve her seizures. At the 8-month mark, her seizures grew out of control, with some hitting every 15 seconds. The once sunny, silly girl became nonverbal and lost all of her independence.
Violet and her family have had many emergency trips to the Cleveland Clinic over the last year. The Lehmans would load into the back of an ambulance, ride for hours and arrive without any of the comforts they normally take for granted like changes of clothing, toothbrushes and phone chargers-- small things that, when missing, made them feel disconnected from the rest of the world when they were living in a hospital room for a week.
The Ronald McDonald House was a game changer for the Lehman family. When Mrs. Lehman was staying with Violet at the Cleveland Clinic without anyone else, she visited the RMH Family Room to wash her clothes, take a shower and sit in a comfortable recliner as she called her family with updates. After the the trauma and stress of the experience, a hot shower and clean clothes made her feel more at ease. That transformation made it possible for her remain calm and patient so she could give Violet the very best care.
At a later visit, Mrs. Lehman's mother and father accompanied her on shifts while one would sleep at the Ronald McDonald House. These spaces were more than just a space to sleep-- they gave her the support she needed in order to be there for Violet. They provided a space for fellowship and connection with other parents who could relate to her situation and gave her access to resources beyond what she could find on her own. Even though she was the only parent there for Violet, she wasn't on her own.
Since starting treatment, Violet has tried over 30 medications to stunt her seizures, but none have been highly successful. On June 6, 2017, Violet underwent an invasive brain surgery at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, in an attempt to reduce her seizures. During this time, the Lehmans stayed at their home away from home: The Ronald McDonald House of Central Ohio.
Ronald McDonald Houses all over the world have made difficult times for families like the Lehmans a little bit easier, and by supporting BobcaThon, you are helping to make this possible.
Question about the families or a story you'd like to share about a family who has benefited from the RMH?
Contact Maggie Wolf (firstname.lastname@example.org).