Thank You RMHC! - Love, Justine
In May of 2013, all of my dreams came true and my wife gave birth to our daughter Justine. I always wondered how I would do as a father to a little girl and finally I had a chance to find out. But that is when things quickly spiraled out of control. Justine was having trouble breathing and didn't cry right away like you see in all of the movies. Her oxygen dipped and we only had a moment together with the three of us before we sped her to the NICU. While there, she ended up having seizures that would stiffen up her little 5lb 15 oz body. It broke me everytime it happened. A week later we were transported to Lurie's Children Hospital where she would spend the next 40 days trying to control these seizures. Justine went through a ton of medication, blood tests, MRIs, cat scans, EEGs, and spinal taps to determine later on that she has a rare genetic disorder named KCNQ2 encephalopathy which causes seizures as well as severe developmental delays.
Each day we were in the hospital with her, it felt like we were waiting for a bomb to go off in the form of her seizures. As you can imagine, this daily struggle took every ounce of our being. The idea of driving over an hour to and from Buffalo Grove would have drained us even more. Fortunately, the Ronald McDonald House offers sleep rooms inside the hospital as well as an entire building dedicated to the parents and famlies of children who are staying at the hospital. We were able to go the house after spending all day with Justine in the NICU and then be back bright and early to see every morning. The Ronald McDonald House is a blessing, to us and to so many other families every year. They kept our family together.
On October 8th, 2017 I will be representing Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon! As a member of Team RMHC, I will be training, fundraising and ultimately running 26.2 miles to help keep families close.
Since 1974, RMHC has been making children happier and healthier by keeping families together – giving them a place to rest and refresh. A place that feels like home.
You too can join RMHC's network of HOPE, STRENGTH and SUPPORT, by supporting my efforts to raise $1000 - $25 can provide dinner for a family, $80 can give a family a room for a night. Your donation, of any amount, will not only help me achieve my goal, but will help children stay close to their families when they need it most!
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