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Isabella Santos Foundation’s July Takeover of the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte

The Isabella Santos Foundation is providing an extra layer of support for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte for July, August and September!  Ronald McDonald House provides a safe and caring home for families who have children receiving medical treatment in the Charlotte area. Our ISF team had a blast this past Thursday taking over the house! We were able to provide accommodations for 28 wonderful families for the night! A yummy picnic dinner was provided by our friends from Jersey Mikes. To finish off the evening we watched a Pixar classic, A Bug’s Life, in the movie room with popcorn, candy, and games! Our team had the best time providing that little extra love to families who need constant support during this difficult time. There are so many ways you can get involved with RMH, check out their Wish List and other ways to help these families. There’s more to come, we are hijacking the house again in August to help support families away from home.  Can’t wait to share with you. Check out our video recap below.

Meet Carysn Pendley and her family! Check out her story and why it is so important to support the Ronald McDonald House.

Expecting a child should be a time of joy, excitement and anticipation to build early bonds. However, when the Pendley family learned that their daughter Carsyn would be born with spina bifida, everything changed. 

“The doctor explained that once Carsyn was born, she would need immediate spinal cord closure surgery, a possible shunt inserted in her brain, and she would be in the hospital two weeks or more as she healed,” said Carsyn’s father, Ryan. 

Living an hour away from Levine Children’s Hospital, the Pendleys were concerned about how they would be able to visit Carsyn daily. They considered staying at hotels nearby but knew those costs would quickly add up. Plus, they also had 9-year-old Brenden to look after. 

Times like these are far too common for families with children requiring medical attention. Luckily, Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte is available to keep families close when they need it most. 

The Pendleys quickly realized that the Ronald McDonald House was so much more than just a room to sleep in and a place to shower. There was a fully stocked kitchen, laundry and game room, plus the entire House was filled with compassionate and supportive people. 

“Having a place to rest and recharge like the Ronald McDonald House was vital in helping my wife and I get through what ended up being a 10-day stay in the NICU for our daughter,” Ryan says. “Today, Carsyn is thriving despite all of this. She has made great strides—[actually] walking and running, neither of which she was supposed to be able to do! We will be forever thankful for the care Carsyn received and for the support and shelter of the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte.”

Thank you to the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte’s staff and volunteers for everything you do! See you in August!

Give Back to Families Away From Home During the Holidays

Holidays can be difficult for families with a child fighting cancer. While many of us continue with our family traditions, many families will have to spend their holidays away from home. Ronald McDonald Houses across the nation are a place for families to stay, feel comfortable and feel safe. A home away from home.

Here in Charlotte we are grateful to have the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte and their incredible staff. Locate your local house to inquire about what you can do to give back this holiday season. A couple ideas:

1. Cook dinner for families staying in the house. This is one of our favorite things to do as a group. Cook as a team from work or as a family. You will have so much fun!

2. Ronald McDonald houses have an ongoing Wish List of items they need to help the house run day to day. Toilet paper, deodorant, trash bags, ect. Pick some items from the list, take your child to help you shop, and drop off at your local Ronald McDonald house.

3. Do you have a business with event or sports tickets? While in town, families need to get out of the house. Donate your basketball or play tickets to help keep families keep their mind off the reason they are in town.

Isabella and her family stayed often at the Ronald McDonald House New York while being treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Ronald McDonald Houses play a significant and important role for families and we appreciate everything they do for communities.