Your support of San Diego’s Ronald McDonald House makes a difference to more than 15,000 family members who access our facilities each year in search of a hot meal, a place to sleep, and more. Learn about some of our families here.
Four-year-old James Moyer loves playing super hero. James was born with a serious heart condition that’s required three surgeries, and he needs a monitor for his heart. He calls it his “Iron Man reactor.” Yet even the most courageous young super hero needs his family at his side for surgeries and healing. Thanks to San Diego’s Ronald McDonald House, James’ family has been able to stay close to him in the hospital and to stay strong as a family.
James’ father, Dan, is in the Marines and is currently a drill instructor, while his mom, Stephanie, is pursuing a nursing degree. Along with James, they have an eight-year-old son, Austin, and new baby, Kataleya, The Ronald McDonald House has helped the family maintain some normalcy for the whole family.
Beyond the comfortable room where they could sleep and shower, the Moyers appreciated sharing in warm meals three times a day. The sports court and playroom helped the family recharge away from the hospital, and the on-site school helped Austin keep learning and growing while staying close to his brother.
The Moyer family watches out for each other. Back at home, Dan notes that when his boys play together, big brother Austin makes sure that James doesn’t overdo it. Austin says, “Be careful, James. Your heart needs to take a break.” And James puts his hand over his heart to check his heartbeat. Ronald McDonald House staff and volunteers watch out for families, too, ready with words of encouragement and hugs when they’re needed most.
Stephanie says, “The Ronald McDonald House has assisted our family beyond what we could ever repay. For what they have done for our family, we are so very grateful.”
Daphne Marshall was born with a complex heart condition that kept her in intensive care for the first month of her life. While hospitals care for patients like Daphne, San Diego’s Ronald McDonald House cares for their families by keeping loved ones close. Daphne’s parents, Julie and Ethan, were grateful to sleep and eat at the House, as “driving back and forth to your house 35 miles away with traffic just isn't an option when your child’s in a health crisis.”
Daphne has required multiple surgeries on her way to becoming a thriving 2-year old. During these procedures and her recovery, the Ronald McDonald House has helped Julie and Ethan stay as healthy and stress free as possible, so they could better focus on Daphne.
Julie remembers being exhausted from staying in her daughter's room all night. “Then I was able to walk over to the Ronald McDonald House and use their shower room to re-energize for the day. The shower facility is a spa-like experience. It’s so rejuvenating after a night of hospital lights, beeping monitors, and vitals checks.”
Dedicated volunteers and staff work hard to create a warm and receptive environment for guests. “They had a great welcome bag with goodies for us and our daughter,” recalls Julie. “It makes you feel loved to receive items that were thoughtfully selected to help make your stay better.”
With 55 guest suites and a comprehensive Family Care Center, Ronald McDonald House supports families like the Marshalls and more than 15,000 individuals each year.