We were asked by the staff at the Ronald McDonald Houses in Portland, Oregon to provide training on the grief process to their staff. What a great opportunity and what wonderful people who work at these “homes away from home.” In 2014, over 2000 families stayed at one of the two homes available in the Portland area. These homes are minutes away from their children’s doctors, medical teams, and hospitals. Some of the families traveled 30 miles and others traveled more than 8,000 miles for treatment. Here’s more on the Ronald McDonald House program in Portland which supports thousands of families each year who are dealing with illness, injuries, and other life-threatening issues with their children: http://rmhcoregon.org/about-us/mission-and-values
Both of our families were recipients of the generous services provided by the Ronald McDonald House. Alice and family stayed at the Ronald McDonald Houses in Portland, Oregon and Denver, Colorado during Lora’s surgeries for neuroblastoma back in 1985. Later, she joined a daughter whose son was having surgery for a cleft palate and lip in Salt Lake City, Utah and they were fortunate to stay at a Ronald McDonald House in that city. Nikki and her family stayed at the Ronald McDonald House in Portland on two occasions when her oldest and youngest sons were hospitalized at Randall Children’s Hospital.
We felt fortunate to have the opportunity to “give back” to the staff and provide some insight into the grieving process experienced by many of the families who stay at the Ronald McDonald Houses. The staff continues to grow and incorporate so many wonderful new ideas to help these families. One of those new ideas is to have volunteers paint a rock in honor of a child who has stayed at the house. These will be placed into a rock garden on the premises. Here’s a photo of Alice and Nikki in that new rock garden after their training presentation on June 6, 2016.