Published: Feb 17, 2020
Four-year-old Olivia Rateep was diagnosed with Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) when she was two years old. This rare disease affects her kidneys, producing scarring and organ function problems.
The Rateep family lives in California, where they tried every treatment available for Olivia before coming to Delaware for a 9-week clinical trial for a new treatment called the Liposorber Trial. Having traveled 5,000 miles across the country, the Rateep family were relieved to find the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware when Olivia’s doctor at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children referred them.Read the
“If we weren’t able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House,” says Olivia’s mom Anju, “we would have had to stay at a hotel, uncomfortable and cramped. And Olivia would have hated it because she wouldn’t have been able to be with other children, being the social butterfly she is.”
During the trial, Olivia and her mom were able to comfortably stay at the Ronald McDonald House, where Olivia enjoyed being that social butterfly during Family Activities, and Anju enjoyed connecting with other parents in similar situations. “We were able to gain a new perspective by meeting with families going through different and worse cases. We felt part of a good community at the House,” she shared.
A favorite memory for the Rateeps was over the holidays when Olivia’s dad and older brother were able to travel to Delaware to stay with them. They spent quality time together, and especially enjoyed a visit from “Motorcycle Santa,” who delivered toys and gifts for the families at the House. He arrived on his decked-out motorcycle and holiday-themed caravan, with lots of festive elves and friends by his side. Olivia enjoyed it very much but was convinced that Motorcycle Santa was much too young to actually be Santa. So, Anju told us that she settled on the decision that he was, in fact, Santa’s son.
After the trial ended, Olivia and her mom checked out of the House and returned home to California. Looking toward the future, the Rateep family hopes that Olivia remains stable with her treatment and won’t have to depend on it for the rest of her life. But, they know if they need to return to Delaware, they have a place to call “home-away-from-home” at the Ronald McDonald House.
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