We Enjoyed Christmas Eve at the House

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Published: Jan 08, 2016

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The Fennelly family smiling and laughing sitting in, and gathered around a hospital bedSince the Fennelly’s first stay in October of 2014, they’ve unpacked their bags at their “home away from home” 6 times, totaling 61 nights. Time after time, they pack their car and make the trek from Virginia to Delaware so Sean can receive orthopedic treatment at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children. The Fennelly’s story caught attention during a monthly family meeting which is hosted in the House’s living room where Ronald McDonald families are encouraged to share their story with one another. Mom, Ann Marie, shared Sean’s story which was filled of inspiration and hope. Doctors had once told them that if Sean wasn’t walking by age 7, he never would. Sean proved the doctors wrong at age 14 when he took his first steps in the Fennelly’s living room. Other RMHDE families held tight to Ann Marie’s story hoping, too, that they will find a miracle within their own child’s story.

Ann Marie reflects on her stay stating that “this Ronald McDonald House has more of a home atmosphere, rather than that of a hotel.” The family could not say enough good things about the volunteers at the House, “they’re always around, and are always looking to help.” The Fennellys were amazed that the House provided a hot meal every night for the family, all donated and prepared by volunteers! They also love how many of the guests come together and enjoy dinner in the dining room, “Dinner time really gives us a feeling of community and support.”

The Fennellys have three other children who occasionally stay at the House when they’re on break from school. Sean’s siblings enjoy the daily activities that are offered. When six year old daughter, Megan, is asked what her favorite hotel is, she responds with “the Ronald McDonald House!” Unfortunately the family found themselves packing their bags two days before Christmas to make yet another trip to Delaware. They found comfort in knowing their “home away from home” could accommodate them for their two night stay. The House was able to offer enough space to keep the family of six together. Ann Marie writes, “Thanks for all you did to help my family! We enjoyed Christmas Eve at the House!” When the family was asked how they felt overall about the House, they replied with three words “We LOVE it!”


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