Walker family collage of photos

A Place of Support for the Walkers

My husband and I wanted a family and tried for many years to have a child. After going through many procedures and crying lots of tears we found out this was not going to be possible for me. We considered other options and met the kindest, most generous person anyone could ever imagine and she agreed to carry a baby for us.

My first experience at the Idaho Ronald McDonald House was when our second daughter was born on February 26, 2013. Our sweet little Emersyn was full term but weighed only 4 lbs. 6 oz. She had many health issues and characteristics that required a lot of testing. After approximately three weeks in the NICU at St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital in Boise, she was diagnosed with a rare chromosomal disorder called Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome (a.k.a. 4-p Syndrome). It usually happens randomly and is caused from a microscopic deletion on chromosome number four. We were not expecting any complications whatsoever so of course our family was shocked and devastated.

My husband’s work as a farmer/rancher made it necessary for him and my older daughter, Tenley, to return home, which is more than a four-hour drive from Boise. It was really hard dealing with all the emotions, and, spending long days and nights at St. Luke’s with Emersyn, but it was always so comforting to be able to go back to RMH to rest. Even though the rest of my family had to go back home I never felt alone at RMH. It was such a scary time, I didn’t know what to do with Emersyn or how to take care of her! The compassionate staff and other families that stayed at the House were such a needed support for me. It helped to talk about Emersyn’s condition and listen to the other families talk about situations with their little loved ones. I met so many kind people at RMH and still stay in contact with some of them.

Emersyn is now almost 5 years old, she has some seizures, is non-mobile and non-verbal, and she gets her nutrition through a feeding tube. She is doing well despite all the issues she deals with every day. Emersyn sees many specialists and we travel to Boise every six months for follow up appointments and some surgeries. Thankfully, we are able to stay at the Idaho RMH and always feel welcome. It is comforting to have warm, home cooked meals made by volunteers for the guests to enjoy, a comfortable bed, and a safe place to stay after a long and stressful day.

Although there may be scary moments, I’m not scared about how to take care of Emersyn anymore. She just needs a lot of love, which she gets everyday from everyone she is around. She is such a sweet little girl and we now know what a blessing it is to have Emersyn in our lives! She has taught our family more things than any doctor, therapist, teacher, or parent can ever teach a child.

Thank you so much to everyone who donates whatever they can to the RMH. No matter how little or how much, it truly does make a difference for families, from all walks of life. I can’t say enough how much our family loves and appreciates RMH.

Thank you and Bless you, The Walker Family – Lewisville, Idaho

Families like the Walkers, have experienced similar feelings towards the Idaho Ronald McDonald House. Guests at the House are surrounded by staff and other families who understand and provide support through their time of need. This compassionate environment is what makes the Ronald McDonald House a comfortable, caring place to stay for families when they travel far from home for their child’s medical treatment.

When families stay at the House, they are asked for a $10 donation per night; however, no family is turned away due to a financial hardship. Through your donations to the Share a Night campaign, you are providing families with that support and ease of mind of not having to worry about where they will stay or where they can get a meal.