Adopt-A-Room brings the comforts home to families battling cancer
Every year the Ronald McDonald House in Spokane serves over 700 families from around the region. With the Adopt-A-Room program local businesses can help make their stay a little more comfortable.
The Ronald McDonald House provides an escape for families while their children receive medical care at local hospitals. The only requirement to stay is that you have to have traveled more than 40 miles from home. Residence is free of charge. Adopt-A-Room helps make the stay free for families, and helps make those room feel a little more like home.
Ferrante’s Marketplace Cafe has sponsored Room 16 since 2011. To help fund the room adoption all the profits at the cafe from today and tomorrow will go to the Ronald McDonald House. Tony Ferrante owns the cafe along with his wife Bobbie, and says it feels great to know that they are helping families and children.
Ferrante says that the fundraiser is also about raising awareness for the Adopt-A-Room program. Currently, only 11 of the 22 rooms are sponsored. Four of those have only been sponsored since January. Ronald McDonald House hopes to have all the rooms adopted by the end of the year. It is $4,000 to adopt a room for two years, but involvement doesn’t have to end with writing a check.
Sponsors also have the opportunity to make the room a home. They are given the opportunity to personalize the rooms by providing decorations and linens for the room. Some even send gift baskets around the holidays to give families extra support.
Colleen Fox, the Marketing Communications Director for RMHC Spokane, says that it’s encouraging for the families staying in adopted rooms to know that community is behind them. Fox says that adopting a room give local businesses a tangible way to be involved and make a difference.
For the families that stay in Ferrante’s Room 16 having a place to call home is a sigh of relief. Clay, 16, and his mother Susan have been calling Room 16 home since December 2012. After finding large growths on Clay’s spine, the family was given an hour to pack up, tell their family and head to Spokane from Libby,MT.
Clay was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer. The treatment is an aggressive 58 week round of chemotherapy with treatments every two weeks. Clay and Susan will be living in Room 16 through December 2013.
Staying at the house gives them both a place to rest and to take a break from the hospital. Susan is able to read a book while Clay plays video games in the family room, providing a slice of normal life while keeping them close to medical attention. It has also provided them with a community of people going through similar trials.
“I enjoy chatting with the other families. It keeps me grounded, and keeps me from going to a place where I feel like we’re the only ones going through this.” says Susan. “We’re certainly thankful to have this home away from our home in Libby.”
Ferrante’s is hoping that the two day fundraiser will fund the cost of room sponsorship, but is committed to another two year room adoption regardless of the outcome.
“We are so very proud to be a part of this and we encourage others to join in the effort,” says Ferrante.
You can help support the Ronald McDonald House by stopping by Ferrante’s Marketplace Cafe to enjoy a great Italian meal or a scoop of gelato on Wednesday April 24th and Thursday April 25th.
To find out more about the Ronald McDonald House and to learn how you can get involved visit www.rmhcspokane.org
Ferrante’s Marketplace Cafe, 4516 S. Regal St. 11:00am-9:00pm