Heartfelt Times Newsletter Fall 2012
The Cong Family
It was six long weeks before Jun Li ‘s baby was due to be born, so she and her husband, Cong Chen, were enjoying sightseeing in Niagara Falls. They never dreamed things would take a nasty turn. She suddenly fell, landing on her belly.
Jun was rushed to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, and when doctors detected an irregular heartbeat, they decided the baby should be delivered by cesarean section.
Donald Ming Chen was born May 27, six weeks early. His lungs weren’t well developed and a machine helped him breathe. A few hours later he was taken to Women and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, where he would stay for the next three weeks. His parents would make their home at the Ronald McDonald House.
Jun was released four days later, and the couple drove straight to Children’s Hospital to see baby Donald. It was the first time Jun got to hold the baby.
“She cried because there were so many tubes,” Cong said.
Then the couple went to the Ronald McDonald House.
“The first time I entered the house, I was feeling good,” Cong said. “I think they have just about everything there. We had a wonderful room.
“And the people there were very nice to us, and we felt very safe. It was a new place, we had never been there, and they feel like friends.”
The couple is originally from China. Jun got a job in the United States. Cong quit his job in Beijing to join her and isn’t currently working. They were grateful that, thanks to donors like you, families are asked to pay only a small fee to stay at the Ronald McDonald House.
“That was amazing because if we lived in a hotel, it would cost us a lot of money,” he said.
If they stayed in a hotel, they would have had to eat out, too, adding to their expenses. At the Ronald McDonald House, volunteers cooked for them and drove them to the hospital in the House’s van.
“We could just focus on our baby,” Cong said.
If the Ronald McDonald House hadn’t been there for them, “Most important, nobody would come to us to ask us how we are doing or how the baby is doing,” he said. “That would have been cold, I think.
“The Ronald McDonald House is like a home, a temporary home, to make us feel safe. It is a very warm memory we will never forget.”
Baby Donald is home and his pediatrician says he’s doing well. At about three months old, he smiles a lot and holds his head up.
Cong has told his Chinese friends about their experience at the Ronald McDonald House, and his friends are shocked that people volunteer here for no pay—simply because they want to help. The outpouring of goodwill that his family received at the House has motivated Cong to volunteer with students in his own community and to help the Ronald McDonald House.
“I think we will be embracing this American tradition to help,” he said. “I would like to donate to this organization because it is really good. If you help others and they help others, the world will be a better place.”
RMHC Golf Classic raises $80,000
A heartfelt thank you goes to Sandy Haefner and her Golf Committee for organizing this year’s incredibly successful 15th annual tournament that raised $80,000 for families helped by Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Western New York. McDonald’s franchisees of Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania sponsor the event with generous support from local companies.
Notes from Sally
Chad Ketchner travelled from his home in Olean to compete in the wheelchair division of the 11th annual Ronald McDonald House 5K Run on July 25.
Chad returns to Buffalo every year to help raise funds for the Ronald McDonald House. His family stayed at the House for several months while Chad was hospitalized after a serious car accident.
He was just one of 1,080 runners that filled the street in front of the Ronald McDonald House for the event. The runners ranged in age from 8 to 84.
Although the Fisher-Price Play Space interactive activities were scaled back because of construction on the Canisius High School football field, children received a souvenir toy, complimentary photo and chance to win a huge gift basket of Fisher-Price toys and products.
Generous companies in Western New York underwrite all the expenses associated with the run and post-race party, donating products and services and contributing sponsorship dollars. Scott Celani and band members treated runners to great music during the post-race party, and fabulous prizes donated by Orville’s Home Appliances, Southwest Airlines® Co., Dunn Tire and Dick’s Sporting Goods generated raffle excitement.
There are many ways you can help the House. We invite Western New York companies, organizations and community groups to support the Ronald McDonald House through donations of cash, products or services or by organizing a fundraising event.
Perhaps you can supply items from our Wish List, which can be seen at rmhcwny.org. Volunteers are always needed for our Cooks For Kids meal preparation program.
No matter how big or small your donation, your gift makes a real difference in the lives of our families!
The Ronald McDonald House Holiday Concert
Featuring Robin Thicke!!
Saturday, November 24
University at Buffalo Center for the Arts
A wonderful, early holiday gift
for you and your family!
Check back at a later date for more information.
Ronald McDonald House Holiday Concert generously presented by Derico of East Amherst Corp.
and its employees.
Volunteer Groups and Donations