Pictured are Jamie and Craig, with Allison and Jillian doing well at 16 weeks in August of 2017.
Our 2017 Winter Mailer features to story of Jamie and Craig and their stay at the House when their twin daughters were born prematurely. Below is Jamie’s story in her own words.
In the early morning hours of May 1, 2017, our world completely changed. I was only 27 weeks along in my pregnancy with twin girls, when my water broke. My husband and I arrived at the hospital in Springfield, fearing the worst. Two days later, our girls were born on May 3, 2017. They were so tiny with Allison weighing 2 pounds 3 ounces and Jillian weighing 2 pounds 9 ounces. Both girls spent over 50 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The evening I was released from the hospital we went directly over to the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) in Springfield where we were greeted and quickly checked in. From the moment we walked in the door everyone was so helpful and supportive.
For the next eight weeks the RMH became our home away from home. Craig was still working full-time and was able to visit on weekends and stay at the House while visiting. It was comforting to be so close to the hospital knowing that I could quickly be by the girls’ side if needed at any time of day. It was amazing to watch our girls grow stronger every day, and I feel that my continued presence made that possible. All of the volunteers were comforting, always asking about how the girls were and if we needed anything. It was also nice to have other families in the House going through the same things we were and to be able to share stories and celebrate the little successes our children were making. The House had everything that we needed free of charge including toiletries, laundry supplies, snacks and so much more. The guest chefs that prepared meals throughout the week were wonderful. It was nice to come home in the evenings to a hot, home-cooked meal– just one more amenity that took a lot of the worries off my mind. All of this is possible due to the generous donations RMH receives from the community. It seemed like every day someone was dropping by fresh flowers, fresh fruits, donuts and even handmade quilts and toys for siblings that were staying in the House. All of these things meant so much during our stay.
We are already talking to the girls about the RMH and will in the future as well so they know how important it is and how the House helped our family when we needed it most. We plan to pay it forward as the girls get older by participating as guest chefs and making donations to the House to help other families that are in similar situations that we found ourselves in when they were born. We hope you will join us in sharing the spirit of the season by giving a gift or donation to the House this winter.
We need your help to restock our House with some special items this holiday season! You can help brighten the day of a family at the House with your gift this year! See below for items needed, and call the House with any questions at (217) 528-3314!
Support our families on Saturday, October 28th for our 2017 Day of Change!
Day of Change is a day to highlight how small change makes a big difference! On the Day of Change we ask everyone to bring their spare change to a local McDonald’s donation box. That change helps us keep families together at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois. The nickles, quarters and dimes donated at McDonald’s restaurants provide mothers, fathers, grandparents and siblings a home away from home while their loved one is hospitalized
Collect your spare change today from couch cushions, your car, your wallet– anywhere you find it! On Saturday, bring it to any McDonald’s in Springfield to help support Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois! Want to know how your spare change makes change? Watch the video below to learn how your support makes an impact in the lives of families in our community.
When MaryBeth arrived at the hospital last summer due to complications with her pregnancy, she did not know the lengthy ordeal she was beginning. MaryBeth’s daughter, MaryKate, and her son, Henry, were both born premature shortly after her arrival. MaryBeth learned that the twins would need to remain in the NICU for several months. Due to her children’s medical needs, she and her family could stay at the Ronald McDonald House for as long as needed, at absolutely no cost.
MaryBeth stayed at the House for over four months. Sadly, MaryKate passed away but her brother Henry’s care continued. She was relieved she had a safe and comfortable place to stay that was just across the street from the hospital. During a challenging time, MaryBeth was able to focus on what was most urgent- her son, having a warm bed, hot meals and a comforting environment to return to.
Mary Beth explains, “Ronald McDonald House is someplace that you do not think about until you or someone you know has benefited from it. The generous donations that enabled me to stay 116 days of Henry’s 120 day NICU stay are phenomenal! Those donations allowed me to be with my son every day throughout his care; our family will never be able to aptly show our gratitude to the supporters of the Ronald McDonald House! I truly believe that Henry is thriving today because of the generous supporters that allowed me to be with my son every day!”
During her time here, MaryBeth was able to be close to Henry day and night. Her husband Robert, who worked full time, and their daughter Aurora would frequently visit on the weekends. During their visits they too could stay at the House free of charge and have a comfortable place to eat, rest and play. Their two-year-old daughter, Aurora, lovingly calls the facility the “clown house” and always looked forward to playing on the playground or visiting with the staff. Like many parents here, MaryBeth quickly built friendships with other parents who had children in the hospital, which she maintains even after her time at the House.
“The guest chefs are so wonderful! Words can not express how wonderful it is to come home to a home-cooked meal. Many times meals were the only break many of us would take away from our babies. As Aurora and Henry get older, we plan on being guest chefs and giving that comfort back to other families.”
Henry was released from the hospital several months after he was born. Henry still requires regular check-ups from his doctor in Springfield, which can be difficult as MaryBeth and Robert live over two hours away. For several of these appointments, MaryBeth and Henry have been able to stay at the House, alleviating long travel times and stress on these days.
MaryBeth and Henry came to the House this past summer while in town for a check up and to visit with the staff. Henry will soon celebrate his first birthday as a healthy strong baby with the rest of his family! It is through the kindness of many businesses, families and individuals who support our work at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois, that stories like Henry’s and MaryBeth’s are possible.
Thank you to all of our sponsors of the 2017 Labor Day Ducky Derby!
Purchase your duck to participate in the first ever Labor Day Ducky Derby!
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois (RMHCCI) will hold their first annual Labor Day Ducky Derby on Monday, September 4, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at Knight’s Action Park. Funds raised through donations, sponsorships and duck purchases will go towards supporting the families served at the Ronald McDonald House in Springfield, Illinois.
Families and individuals are invited to attend this event and watch the Ducky Derby free of charge. Ducks can be purchased online at rmhc-centralillinois.org or by mailing in the bottom portion of a tear off flyer with check. Flyers can be downloaded online at rmhc-centralillinois.org. Ducks are $5 each, with packages of 6, 13, 30 and 50 ducks available for purchase. Prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place winning ducks, and will be announced and awarded immediately after the race. Winners and contestants need not be present to win or participate.
A celebrity duck derby will take place at 10:45 a.m. featuring local politicians, servicemen/women, radio and news personalities, community leaders, etc. Discounted admission of $19.95 to the waterpark is offered via discount code to those who purchase a duck. The code is available at time of duck purchase(s). Waterpark tickets are not required to watch the Labor Day Ducky Derby. The waterpark will open at 10:00 a.m. the day of the derby, and several activities for children will be available, including the Fortress of Fun at Knight’s Action Park and emergency vehicles for up close viewing.
This event is presented by HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital, and is hosted by Knight’s Action Park. Knight’s Action Park is located at 1700 Recreation Dr., in Springfield Illinois. Additional information and Frequently Asked Questions are available online at rmhc-centralillinois.org/ducky-derby.
Join us for the 6th Annual Dave Cope “Swing for the Love of It” Memorial Golf Tournament on Tuesday September 12, 2017! The tournament will be held at WeaverRidge Golf Club in Peoria, beginning at 10:00 a.m. with a scramble style tournament consisting of 36 teams of four players. A buffet dinner, live and silent auctions and presentation of awards will immediately follow play. Registration for players and sponsors is open so register now!
The Swing for the Love of It Memorial Golf Tournament is in memory of Dave Cope, who formerly owned McDonald’s restaurants in the Peoria Co-op with his wife, Jayne, since 1990. The event is organized by McDonald’s Owner/Operators of the Peoria/Bloomington Co-op. Proceeds of the event will support Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois.
Schedule for the day is as follows:
8:30 a.m. – Registration and Lunch
10:00 a.m. – Shotgun Scramble
4:oo p.m. – Live and Silent Auction
4:30 p.m. – Dinner
Proceeds from the event will benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois. Thank you for your support!
For signage and planning purposes, we would appreciate all sponsor registration and payment by August 22nd and all team information by September 5th. Thank you!
Don’t wait, register now!