Kate Kane and her husband first stayed at the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill in 2005 when their daughter Maura needed heart surgery, but they soon became regular guests. “Maura has so many health problems, at times we were at the House for weeks on end,” said Kate.
Maura was born in January 2005, and began the life-long battle with her health soon after. “We took home a healthy, 9-pound baby girl, but then at her one-week check up the doctors discovered that she lost weight, was very jaundiced and a had heart murmur that would require surgery,” said Kate.
Since then, the Kane family has stayed at the House “too many times to count.” Maura’s diagnoses include a Neuroblastoma tumor, Weaver Syndrome, a seizure disorder and Cerebral Palsy, among others. She has needed several surgeries and is frequently at the hospital for different types of therapy. ‘The Ronald McDonald House has been our second home since Maura was seven days old. There were many times when we got bad news, but the House has always been a positive place for us,” said Kate.
“Maura has a lot of things going on with her health, but she has a lot going for her too. She has a great energy, which rubs off on everyone around her and helps keep us strong. She is our hero.”
The whole family still loves to stop by for a visit when they can, and everyone at the House loves to see them! Kate, Maura and little sister Maggie stopped by last week after a routine appointment to catch up with old friends and see the exciting changes going on at the House.
Kate said, “It’s amazing to see the expansion project actually taking off. Three years ago our family told our story for the campaign video, and now it’s all really happening!”
One of Maura and Maggie’s favorite new things about the House was the new playroom, generously renovated by the Carolina Lily Chapter of the National Charity League, a mother-daughter volunteer organization. Maggie enjoyed exploring the dress up box and Maura loved the art table.
“The things that have changed already are just amazing,” Kate said. “Things like having a quiet place to go and just think, or a nice place for Maggie to play when we come back from the hospital, those little things make all the difference in the world when you’re going through something like having a sick child. This place really was our home, I can’t wait to see all of the great things that are in store.”
Maura is still undergoing regular treatments and surgeries, but through everything she has remained a happy 9-year-old girl and enjoys swimming, dogs and even hanging out with her little sister.