What is the Ronald McDonald House?
The Ronald McDonald House is a "home-away-from-home" where families can stay while their children are being treated at San Antonio’s various Medical Centers. A nightly fee of $7.00 - $40.00 is charged for the room, but is waived for those who cannot afford it.
On May 6, 1985, the first Ronald McDonald House opened in San Antonio and expanded to a 20 family home in 1991. On May 4, 1998, we became the sixth city in the United States to open the doors to a second 20 family “home that love built.” On January 10, 2002 our third House was opened with accommodation for 10 families. This home is the first worldwide to be located within a hospital.
We host families whose children are being treated at nearby medical facilities included but not limited to Children's Hospital of San Antonio, CRIT USA, University Hospital and Methodist Hospital.
Why is it needed?
Often a child with a diagnosed disease lives far from the hospital. This creates an especially stressful situation for parents, as they must cope not only with a seriously ill child, but also with the burden of being away from home for days, weeks, and sometimes months.
Before the Ronald McDonald House, the only lodging alternatives were lonely and expensive hotel rooms, or hospital cots. Finding themselves in a strange city, away from the crucial support of friends and relatives, many parents found this to be a desperately unhappy experience– at a time when their child most needed their strength, and encouragement.
The Ronald McDonald House is a home for these families. The House gives them a place where they can break away from the hospital, yet be available at a moment’s notice. Just as important, it is a place where parents can meet and talk with other families who are experiencing some of the same fears and concerns, and establish a mutual support system so critically needed at this time.
How the Ronald McDonald House Helps
A young girl with leukemia stays at the House and goes to the hospital only for the chemotherapy treatments. At the House, she doesn't have to wear her wig, because people here understand.
A child, hospitalized for a brain tumor, says “good night” to his mother and goes to sleep knowing she’ll be nearby.
A five-year old boy from Laredo, Texas, who must come to the hospital for his cancer treatment isn’t as afraid because he “gets to stay at the Ronald McDonald House.”
Late at night in an upstairs House corridor, two mothers wrapped in bathrobes share information on blood counts and bone marrow and give each other hope.
This program extends the comfort of a Ronald McDonald House to a hospital setting located just steps from neonatal or pediatric intensive care units. The Family Room provides the families of critically ill or injured children a place to rest, take showers, grab a bite to eat and even to laundry.
In 2009 two Ronald McDonald Family Rooms were opened in Laredo, Texas. The first opened August 5, and is located in Doctors Hospital. The second room is located in Laredo Medical Center Hospital and opened on October 15.