CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — Three-year-old Asher Wallace is an energetic little boy.
“Look, there’s a little dump trump and a big dump truck. I need to load the big dump truck,” he said.
Playing with dad, and snuggling with mom, he’s happy to meet new people, and game for anything here at the Ronald McDonald House in Camden.
His parents love watching their son play, but watching him one day they felt something was wrong.
“We noticed that his eye had begun to turn in,” said Mark Wallace, Asher’s father.
It happened around Christmas in 2015.
“His left eye would look at you, his right eye would kind of look toward his nose,” he said.
The diagnosis by doctors in Alabama revealed retino-blastoma, a malignant tumor of the eye that affects young children.
“We were kind of shell-shocked,” said Ashley Wallace, Asher’s mother.
Their doctor recommended treatment at Wills Eye Institute and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
“He said they’re the best in the world,” said Mark Wallace.
Ashley Wallace added, “All that went through my mind is we got to get there, we got to get this started.”
The family traveled back and forth nearly every month last year for Asher’s treatments, always knowing they had a welcome play to stay.
“The McDonald House was unbelievable,” said Mark Wallace.
During that time, Asher had one eye removed.
His dad took video the first day Asher saw his new prosthetic eye in the mirror.
“You’ll get used to it,” Mark Wallace said in the video.
And through it all, Mark and Ashley Wallace found a community inside Ronald McDonald House where every parent’s wish is for their child to get better.
“We share our stories and we root for each other,” said Ashley Wallace.
And for Asher, facing every treatment, staying here made all the difference.
“He gets so apprehensive about hospitals and things, but he’s always OK with this coming to the McDonald House,” Asher’s mother said. “This place has definitely made an impression on him, he loves it.”
But their trips to Ronald McDonald House are coming to an end because on this recent stay, doctors said Asher’s MRI is clear.
It’s news that every Ronald McDonald family hopes to hear.
“Can I have hugs and sugars,” Ashley Wallace asked Asher. “That’s what I’m talking about!”