Published: Jul 11, 2018
The Dodsons are a family who love the outdoors, camping, going to church, and having “Pizza Fridays.” Todd, Staci, Anna (2 years), Kyle (7 mos), and Max the Husky make up the close-knit family who reside in a rural, woodsy area of central Pennsylvania.
At just three months old, Anna was diagnosed with four different serious cardiac conditions. In order to receive treatment and an important surgery, the Dodson family traveled 3 hours from their home to Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington.
Facing major surgery for their young daughter was a difficult time for the family, made only more difficult due to being so far away from the comfort of their home.
“Anna required two open heart surgeries… the Ronald McDonald House was very close to the hospital and a safe, clean, and friendly environment,” says Anna’s Dad, Todd, “[Without the Ronald McDonald House], we would have had to travel a longer distance, stay at a hotel that we would have no idea if it was safe, or with people that would not be sensitive to our situation. It would have been financially stressful to pay much more for a place to stay and healthy meals to eat.”
The Dodsons have stayed at the Ronald McDonald House three times; their longest stay was a week. During this week, Todd needed to travel home to work, and he was reassured that his wife, Anna’s mother Staci, had somewhere safe to stay and meals to eat.
Todd and Staci especially enjoyed these meal times, taking the opportunity to talk with other guests staying at the House and thank the volunteer groups who prepared a warm meals each evening.
Todd shares that during their journey, as a family they have learned to “be grateful for what we have in life and thankful to others that are willing to help however they can.”
The Dodson family is looking forward to going camping together, enjoying their time as a family, and teaching Anna and Kyle the value of loving and helping others as they grow.
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