Welcome to my personal Walk for Kids page!
As many of you know our own daughter Dinah was placed in the NICU for two weeks when she was just three weeks old. Dinah had a high fever and was immediately admitted to the Rady's unit at Rancho Springs Hospital in Murrieta. After being there for three days and running multiple tests on her, Dinah ended up testing positive for herpes and her fever was not dropping. Herpes can be deadly to children under three months and can cause brain damage if not treated immediately so they wanted to transfer her to Rady’s Children Hospital in San Diego that day. The doctors at Rancho felt that S.D. Rady’s would be better for her because they have more resources available. Luckily, I was able to run home and pack a few things before the ambulance left transferring her to San Diego. We did not care that we had nowhere to stay where we were going, our only concern was being with our baby. Let me tell you it was heart breaking following behind an ambulance carrying your newborn child in it and not knowing what was going to happen to her.
The first night we took turns sleeping on a fold out chair in Dinah’s room. We did not want to leave her because they had put probes into her scalp to monitor her brain waves right when she arrived. After a long trying night of not being able to hold our child and now going multiple days with minimal sleep the morning had finally come. Our nurse sent us across the street to the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) to see if we could get on the list for a room and get some breakfast.
I remember Jason and me looking at each other thinking why would we want to stay at McDonald’s? Well when we walked into the RMH it was like entering a whole new world. Immediately when you walked in there was a front desk that had people to assist you, so we started there. The people at the front had the kindest faces and were so warm and caring. They told us they would put us on a waitlist to get a room as soon as they got ahold of Dinah’s caseworker (which was a couple hours after we went to RMH.) They gave us a tour of the facility which had shower rooms, nap rooms, a full kitchen that made three meals a day if you wanted to come eat for free, a playground, small reading areas, a chapel, an office room, a gym, a laundry room and all of these things were for free. They even had real hotel rooms available for people who qualified. It was amazing!! After the tour the ladies insisted we get breakfast and one of us take a nap until further notice.
That afternoon we got a call that we qualified for a room (Dinah was in the NICU and we lived an hour away was all the qualifications that were needed,) and that we were able to check in immediately. We were able to keep the room the whole time Dinah was in the hospital which was incredible because I was just across the street from her at all times. Jason ended up having to return to work so I stayed there alone until the weekend when Jason and Oliver came back up to stay with me. I was allowed to come and go at all hours and had my own key to the building and was able to come eat three meals a day if I wanted. I was even able to do my laundry since I did not pack enough clothes since we were not sure how long we would be there. RMH even provided the laundry soap for me to use.
I’ll never forget the first time we checked into our room we were greeted with a basket of items that included a crochet quilt, teddy bear and toys for Dinah, shower supplies for us and more. I remember feeling so loved and cared for in such a horrible situation. Even more when they heard that Oliver was coming to stay with us that weekend they gave us a little handmade backpack filled with toys and books to help him get comfortable with the situation. The workers there were amazing and always asked how Dinah was and if we needed anything. It was the most incredible experience and I am forever in their debt because without them I would’ve just stayed on that uncomfortable chair at night because there was no way I was leaving Dinah’s side while she went through all of her testing, blood work, pick lines, spinal tabs, CAT scans etc.
Longest story short, after spending two crazy weeks in the NICU and having all sorts of tests run and a dozen different doctors and specialist come through, Dinah ended up not having herpes and we will never really know what she had but that she is okay now. I honestly cannot imagine what it would have been like without the Ronald McDonald House and all of the wonderful amenities that they provided. I have made it my mission to do all I can to make other families going through trying times feel just as loved by donating handmade blankets to the RMH and now I am determined to get a group of friends and families to do this Long Beach walk with me. I feel it is the least that I can do for such a wonderful experience that I will forever be grateful for.
I hope that you will join me in raising money for seriously ill children and their families. Be sure to check back to view my progress, and please share this page so that I can reach my fundraising goal! I can’t wait to spend a wonderful Sunday with all of you supporting a more than worthy cause! Let me know if you are interested or need help registering with Team Dinah Von.
Thank you in advance,
When you participate in the Walk for Kids, you are showing your support for families who are facing the fear and uncertainty of having a seriously ill child. Dinah was very fortunate and we are so happy that she is okay now, not all families are this lucky.
If you are interested in making a secure online donation to help me reach my fundraising goal, please click the red Donate Now button to the right of the page.
Thank you for your support!