Family Stories

Gain inspiration from our families.

Below, you will find stories of families who have stayed at the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House.

Ronald McDonald Camp: The Lipsman Sisters

In July of 2010, when Anna Lipsman was just nine years old, she was diagnosed with childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). With little knowledge of this form of cancer, the news terrified the Lipsman family and left them uncertain of their daughter’s future....The Lipsman Sisters

The Penso Family Story

Justin Penso, now age 12, began alerting his parents that something was wrong back when he was in nursery school. Doctors told his parents that his continuous stomach issues were everything from a gluten allergy to an inflamed colon....The Lipsman Sisters

The Bekos Family Story

Jeff Bekos speaks with emotion about the day his family's life changed forever. It was July 5, 2013, 7:45 am, at their home in Doylestown, PA. He was in the kitchen with his 13-year old daughter Hailey....The Lipsman Sisters

A Brother's Promise

Abed was standing at the doorway of his house when the first rocket hit. The eleven-year-old, who was living in Northern Syria, ran outside to see what happened. Then the second rocket hit, severely injuring Abed....A Brother's Promise

Sayre Family Story

At first, the doctor thought Jillian was suffering from seasonal allergies. "She never complains and was getting headaches," explains Jodi Sayre, Jillian's mother. As the headaches and then vomiting continued to get worse...Sayre Family Story

Maternal Friendship

Most Families come to the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House after their child is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness or born with a serious medical condition. However, for three moms currently at the House, their stories are a little different...Maternal Friendship

Ayana's Story

Ayana started bumping into walls, and her teacher noticed that she wasn’t using her leg muscles as much at school. A trip to the emergency room in their hometown of Irvington, New Jersey revealed that Ayana had hydrocephalus—water on the brain—caused by a brain tumor...The Lipsman Sisters

Giving Back By Making Meals

After spending more than two months at the Front & Erie House in 2010, Tom and Heather Auchenbach knew they wanted to give back in some way. “I think we knew as soon as we stayed here that we wanted to do something,”...The Auchenbach Family

The Gift Of A New Heart

At first, it seemed like Duwayne just had a typical stomach bug. The second grader-a running back on his football team who was usually full of energy- started vomiting an feeling run down. However...The Gift Of A New Heart

Feeling At Home 4,500 Miles From Their Own

When Amie, Abigail, and Cecelia return home to Liberia, they will have more than just their memories of their first trip to the United States. They will have regained the ability to walk.Feeling At Home 4,500 Miles From Their Own

Making Friends at the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House

When Naomi, 5, and Alina, 2, wake up each morning, the first thing they do is ask for each other. “Every single day, the first thing Alina asks is ‘Where’s Naomi?’ Are we going to see her today?,’” says Alina’s mom Liz Bello.. Making Friends at the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House

The Raymond Family's Story

When Crystal Raymond found out she was pregnant with twins, it was one of the best moments of her life. “I couldn’t have won the lottery to make me happier,” she says. “I was so excited. I was on top of the world.” However, the very next day Crystal and her husband Devin received devastating news: the twins were conjoined, and not expected to survive the pregnancy. “I went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows in 24 hours,” says Crystal. The Raymond Family's Story

The Mero Family's Story

When Rosalyn Mero took her 21-month-old son Santi to the emergency room, the doctors told her something no mother wants to hear: Santi had a cancerous tumor on his brain that made him permanently blind....Read More

The Otto Sunderman Family's Story

When the Otto Sunderman family checked into the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House at Front & Erie in January, the brought with them a very special guest: an eight-month-old puppy named Rhythm. Read More

The Bryan Family's Story

At first, Gary and Michelle Bryan assumed their son David just had a virus. Nearly three years old at the time, the otherwise healthy toddler started to seem a little lethargic. "Everything was absolutely normal," says Gary. "He was running around, talking. All of a sudden we noticed he started getting a little bit tired. He didn't want to talk. Then he started throwing up."...Read More

The Barkman Sisters Story

Everything changed the moment the girls arrived at the camp, located three hours from Philadelphia in the Pocono mountains. "I thought "whoa, this is huge!' It was just so amazing," Lauren says. "People at camp were just like me and that comforted me. No one cared if you were sick."The Barkman Sisters Story

The Crockett Family's Summer

What does summer mean to you? Enjoying the hot seasonal weather? How about planning vacations to the beach? This year, for the Crockett family, summer meant something quite different – a life changing situation and a seven-week stay at the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House. The Crockett Family's Summer

Teens Living With Cancer

When Rosemary Fabian was visiting her cousin Bianca Cotto, who was receiving treatment for osteosarcoma (a form of bone cancer) at St. Christopher's Hospital last May, she never imagined she too would be treated as a cancer patient there just months later...Teens Living With Cancer

The Enberg Family's Journey

When Tammy and Eric Enberg traveled from Minnesota to Ukraine in 2009 to adopt their five-year-old daughter Sophie, they did not imagine that they were starting a journey that would double the size of their family...The Enberg Family's Journey

Giulianna's Story

Kimberly Rinaldi was two months pregnant when she first learned there was a chance that her baby might have Down syndrome...Giulianna's Story

Bradley's Story

In November of 2009, Rowena Amematekpor and her three-year-old son Bradley were at a crossroads...Bradley's Story

The Higgins Family's Story

When Lisa Higgins imagined her first trip to the United States, she never dreamt her time would be spent at the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House...The Higgins Family's Story

The McLaughlin Family's Story

When Amy and Doug McLaughlin brought their two-month-old son Teddy to the doctor, they already knew something was wrong...The McLaughlin Family's Story

The Osowiecki Family's Story

Christiane Osowiecki did not know what to expect when she arrived at the door of the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House 13 years ago...The Osowiecki Family's Story

Ellie's Gift

Nicole Koerner was on the way to pick up wrapping paper when she got her daughter Ellie's test results. It was just days before Christmas, and the seemingly healthy four-year-old had developed what looked like a rash on her entire body...read more

Jayson's Story

Nearly every morning, Brenda Flores’ fiance Jayson Lenzsch leaves the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House at 4am to drive to his job in New Jersey while she prepares to go to the hospital...read more

The Grosshans Family's Journey

When George and Barbara Grosshans moved to China ten years ago, they never dreamed they were about to become parents again...read more

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