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A Family Perspective, Part 1: Blanca’s Story

Doris & Alexandra 004Blanca has been an extraordinary member of the community here at the Ronald McDonald House. Not only does she take care of Alexandra, her teenaged daughter being treated for bone cancer, but she also helps other families at the House find strength when they need it most.

“As a caregiver, you need support. When your child is fighting for their life, you feel broken – it’s painful. It’s an emotional tornado,” Blanca says. “You have to be strong – so you can help your child feel comfortable when you both feel so much fear.”

Blanca understands what many parents here at the House are going through. Like many others who stay with us, she and her daughter have had a difficult road before staying at the House. Blanca’s daughter had complained of pain in her arm, so they went to a local doctor. “I thought maybe the doctor was going to come back and say she needed a cast. Instead, he said, ‘I’m so sorry, I have bad news – it’s osteosarcoma – bone cancer.’ I just felt like I couldn’t breathe,” she says. That choking feeling never truly left Blanca while she watched her daughter get treated with very aggressive chemotherapy at their local hospital in British Columbia, Canada. After nine months, her daughter was referred to Seattle Children’s Hospital to pursue a special treatment called proton therapy. This targeted radiation is only available in a few hospitals in the United States.

They applied for housing at the Ronald McDonald House, but spent a few days in hotels before a room became available. When one opened up, it was an amazing day. “The first person I met at the House was Nancy – she is an extraordinary person. I came into the House and just talking with her, I started to feel this calm, this peace. I could feel the welcome this place has. For the first time since the diagnosis, I felt like I could breathe again,” says Blanca.

Blanca does her best to lift the spirits of those around her and has lent an open ear to many of the families living with her at the House. She knows how challenging it can be to have an ill child, but knows it’s better to face the challenge in a supportive environment than alone. She regularly invites other parents to join her at dinner or just to chat. “I always tell parents who are new – don’t be so stressed. You have to relax and take it day by day, otherwise you’re going to get sick. You have to be there for your kids, so you need to take care of yourself too!”

Blanca says that just being in the House for her is like “nutrients for [her] soul.” For Blanca and her daughter, the House has become a peaceful refuge, where they not only take time to heal themselves, but can also help others heal.

Stay tuned for our next blog, where Blanca’s daughter, Alexandra, tells her story! 

Wyatt Wilson Ride

This September 11th, local motorcyclists will gather at Eastside Harley-Davidson in Bellevue, WA and take a nearly 100 mile ride to Mud Mountain Dam Park to honor the memory of childhood cancer patient, Wyatt Wilson. In its 11th year, the Wyatt Wilson Ride benefits Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington & Alaska, where Wyatt spent years… Continue Reading

Giving Back: Summer Food Drives for RMHC

Summer isn’t usually a time when people think about donating food or holding a food drive – but, this is actually the time when the Ronald McDonald House needs help the most! We have a pantry available to all 80 families who stay with us each night and it is typically full of staples to… Continue Reading

The Gift of Quilts

This story comes to us from JoAnn Lewis, a member of the Washington State School Retirees Association Unit 2, Chelan/Douglas. Quotes republished from the WSSRA’s publication, The Journal.  JoAnn Lewis shared her story with us while dropping off the donation of a new quilt and pillowcases to the House. She writes, “I began quilting in… Continue Reading

I Will Always Remember My 15th Birthday

Today, we’re bringing you a blog written by a former resident at RMHC Seattle, Krystyne Soderstrom. Reposted with permission from RMHC.org.  On June 30th, my family and I celebrated the 4th anniversary of the day I finished my cancer treatments and left the Seattle Ronald McDonald House. We felt so lucky to be offered a… Continue Reading

Gotta Catch ‘Em All

Are you playing the new Pokemon Go app? We’ve discovered that a great place to catch critters is along the Burke Gilman Trail. The trail features lots of pokestops and pokemon (although be alert for other joggers and bikes on the trail). More importantly: the park next to the Ronald McDonald House is a gym in the… Continue Reading

Volunteer Spotlight: University Lodge #141

The University Lodge #141 Freemasons have been a fixture at the University District Street Fair. Over the last 5+ years, the Lodge members can be found selling balloons for kids – and they donate the profits from their sales to charity. This year, we were so grateful to be the recipients of their generosity. The group found the… Continue Reading

GiveBIG Extended Until 5/4

  If you’ve been having difficulty donating for GiveBIG, you’re not alone! The site has been down for the majority of the day. It’s been a frustrating experience for everyone – and we thank you for your patience as the Seattle Foundation and their partners (donation service Kimbia) have been working on a technical solution. The Seattle… Continue Reading

Volunteer for the Color Run!

The Color Run returns to Seattle on May 8th. This 5k fun run promises to be a good time, thanks to colored paint throws, colored foam zones, and even a Rainbow Beach party at the end of the finish line. If all of that sounds like your idea of paradise, join us as a volunteer!… Continue Reading

Volunteer Spotlight: Coffee Cart

In honor of National Volunteer Week, we’re posting about a volunteer program you may not know about – our Coffee Hour with Seattle Children’s Hospital. Every other Wednesday at 3pm, regular RMHC volunteers Steve & Ann Moll take the Frog Elevator to the 6th floor of Seattle Children’s Hospital, where they greet anyone who wants… Continue Reading

Our Mission:

At Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington & Alaska, we support seriously ill children and their families. At the Seattle House, we provide a "home-away-from-home" to help families through a difficult time. We also provide a van service for families staying in Anchorage while their children receive medical care. Our IRS tax number or EIN is: 91-1061043.

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5130 40th Ave NE

Seattle, WA 98105

Phone: 206.838.0600

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