PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Next week, we will be raising money to help families of children who need medical care. Our Ronald McDonald House Charities Virtual Telethon will air on Nov. 24 on CBS3.
Ronald McDonald Houses offer a warm, comfortable place for families to stay together while they care for a sick or injured child.
In March, we met Yoldy, a teenager who celebrated her 17th birthday at the North Philadelphia house. She celebrated another major milestone of her life there, too.
Yoldy is one step closer to her dream — to dance like the other teenage girls do in her village in Haiti.
With the help of a walker, Yoldy recently took the first steps of her life at the Ronald McDonald House in North Philadelphia.
Making this even more of a special accomplishment, Yoldy was raised in an orphanage in Haiti.
As a child with special needs, her birth parents needed the resources of Canaan Orphanage.
Her visits to Philadelphia be when she was just 3 years old. A surgeon at Shriners Hospital agreed to take her case.
Over the past 14 years, Yoldy has undergone half a dozen surgeries, all with the hope that she may someday walk.
Yoldy’s adopted mother, Gladys Mecklembourg, says the first operation was particularly grueling.
“She had surgery at Shriners. Instead of five hours, it was 14 hours,” Mecklembourg said.
Finding accommodations near Shriners Hospital for these visits have not been easy for her family. That’s where the Ronald McDonald House comes in.
“It was really a difficult time for us when we came here. Because she had to have, she needed a place where there was no stairs, I’m sorry to say most of Philadelphia is stairs, where you are at, most of the houses,” Mecklembourg said.
But not at the Ronald McDonald House, which made it the perfect place for Yoldy’s most recent trip to Philadelphia.
Her family says their stay at the Ronald McDonald House has given them joy and even some ideas to bring back to the orphanage in Haiti.
Meanwhile, Yoldy leaves this stay at the Ronald McDonald House as a girl who can walk and now is also one step closer to her achieving her dream of dancing.
“I know God do me like this for a reason and I know he’s going to do something for me in the future,” Yoldy said. “It’s not easy, but I’m taking courage. And right now, I’m so happy that I can see he is working — and I’m so thankful. I’m thankful for the doctors, that God has gave me. It gives me courage.”
You can help young people just like Yoldy. Join us on Tuesday for our Ronald McDonald House Charities Virtual Telethon. It’s from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. You can also join in on Twitter and at cbsphilly.com/rmhc.
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