The Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill (RMH) hosts guests from across the state, country, and world each year. Some families travel hours or even days to receive care in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Honeycutt family makes no exception.
Dad, David, mom, Kathryn, and kids, Ty (21), Abby (17), Wes (14), and Aaron (5) travel 3 hours from Brunswick County to UNC Children’s Hospital so that Aaron can receive care. Aaron has a condition called Lipomyelomeningocele, more commonly known as Spina Bifida.
The Honeycutt family was first introduced to Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill through their care coordinator at UNC Women’s Hospital. “My first impression of the House was that it was warm, friendly, and home-like,” said Kathryn.
“We have stayed at RMH more times than I can remember… at least 10 separate times. Our son has had around 9 surgeries.” When asked about their favorite RMH memories, Kathryn said, “Our son loves the aquarium and it’s always the first thing he goes to check out. Every memory is a good one at RMH.”
Kathryn said Ronald McDonald House has supported their family in a variety of ways. “RMH makes our trip more affordable by allowing us to stay overnight or as long as needed for far cheaper than a hotel. Not only that but we are fed at the Ronald McDonald House. When our other children have to come with us to RMH, they are welcomed as well.”
Kathryn said she and her family enjoy visiting the Ronald McDonald House family room at UNC Children’s Hospital. “It gives you a little feeling of normality during what is usually a stressful time.” She said they also enjoy the community found at RMH. “One family we have become really good friends and stay in contact with regularly.” The mission of Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill goes far beyond lodging and meals. The heart of the RMH mission and vision is found in these relationships.
“Aaron will always have Spina Bifida. He will always need specialized care in Chapel Hill. There will be more surgeries, procedures, checkups, and routine visits in his future. Chapel Hill will be our second home until Aaron is at least 21.”
“Without RMH, this experience would be EXPENSIVE! There’s no way we could afford gas, food, and a hotel room in Chapel Hill. I’d like people who have never stayed at the House to know that RMH volunteers really do care about you and your family. The House makes having to stay in Chapel Hill for your child’s care a lot less crazy and hectic.
Each family that visits the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill leaves a special mark on our House and truly becomes a part of the RMH family. The Ronald McDonald House team is honored to be that “home-away-from-home” for Aaron and his family.