The Harris Family

from La Pine, Oregon: 1 Visit, 28 Nights

When Nickole unexpectedly gave birth to her daughter two months early, she was terrified for her baby and for what was to come. “The Ronald McDonald House was our saving grace,” Nickole recalls.

She was discharged from the hospital just days after her daughter Emily was born. She was still incubated and strapped to countless monitors and machines, facing four long weeks of intensive care before she could come home. The Harris family lived nearly an hour from the hospital on a road that can become impassable during the winter. But, as any new mom can imagine, being separated from her newborn baby was unthinkable. “I had no other plan but to camp out in my car in the parking lot while my husband took Emily’s big brothers home,” says Nickole.

It was then that she first learned about the Ronald McDonald House. “I was overjoyed that our entire family could continue to stay together, just steps away from my baby’s hospital room. It was such a stressful time, but the Ronald McDonald House made it so I could focus on my family. At no cost to us, this incredible organization kept our family close and cared for, allowing us all to be with baby Emily, holding her tiny hands and tickling her tiny feet. We will always have a warm place in our hearts for this organization and people like you whose gifts keep the lights on and the kitchen stocked in our home away from home.”

Since their stay, the Harris family has volunteered at our Bend House. Their oldest son, Austin, completed his Eagle Scout project by transforming the regular lighting to LED lighting, and he also built two large flower boxes for the front of the house.