Follow-Up: Ethan’s Story
Ethan is a nine-year-old outgoing kid from Anchorage, Alaska who stayed with us in 2014. You may remember his story from our annual holiday letter last year. Ethan was diagnosed with a kind of lymphoma so rare that it had never been seen in anyone under the age of 60, so being close to specialists at Seattle Children’s Hospital was crucial for him and his family. After some complications from his chemo treatments and a serious lung infection, the family was glad to have the House to lean on while Ethan finally received his bone marrow transplant. Ethan and his family lived in our self-contained apartments, which are specifically designed for kids like Ethan who have reduced immunity while undergoing a bone-marrow transplant. After eight months and one relapse, Ethan and his family were able to return home.
Today, Ethan is back with his family and friends. He enjoys being active, doing activities like biking and dancing. He’s been taken off all of his medications and has healthy lymph nodes, so he should be able to begin third grade in October. He is expecting a clean bill of health when the family returns to Seattle later this year for Ethan’s one year checkup.
His mom tells us that the Ronald McDonald House was critical for their family during Ethan’s bone marrow transplant. “The Ronald McDonald House was absolutely amazing during our stay. It was our saving grace during that stressful time when Ethan was recovering.”
Ethan, his parents, and his older brother were able to take advantage of everything the House had to offer, such as therapy dogs, volunteer led-activities, and many dinners through the meal program. “In the worst darkest times of our lives, the Ronald McDonald House was there for us,” Ethan’s mom adds. “People think it’s just a place to stay and it’s not. It’s so much more than that – it’s a support system. It’s everything that you need with the dinners, free pantry, and the emotional support from everyone in the House. It meets all your physical and emotional needs. When everything was overwhelming, there was a home waiting for us here which made all the difference.”