PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Today is a special day here at CBS3. We are raising money to help families of children who need medical care.
Our Ronald McDonald House Charities Virtual Telethon runs until 8 p.m.READ MORE: Philadelphia Mother Pleading To Find Driver Who Struck Son In Hit-And-Run, 'Guardian Angel' Who Found Him
Ronald McDonald Houses allow families to stay together during some of the most challenging times of their lives.
CBS3’s Jim Donovan met a little boy who loves staying at the house in southern New Jersey.
Spend some time with Finn Blumenthal and fish and sharks will likely come up in conversation. The name Finn, like a shark fin, could be one reason he likes them. The 5-year-old definitely isn’t afraid of them.
“Because I can beat it,” Finn said.
He’ll even tell you that his scars were from a battle with a shark, and like any fisherman’s tale, there is some truth to that, about a battle anyway. Finn has been battling heart disease since the day he was born.
“He does not have any chambers in his heart at all, it’s just one big hole and he has abnormal connections surrounding his heart as well, so it’s pretty severe,” Finn’s mom Kelly Blumenthal said.
Finn has had two open heart operations, more than a dozen additional surgical procedures, and even had a stroke last November.
His mom Kelly and dad Michael turned to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to get Finn the best medical care possible. But traveling far away from their Virginia home left them with a problem of where to stay while getting that care and how to pay for it.READ MORE: Philadelphia's Evil Genius Beer Company Giving Out Free Beers To Those Getting Vaccinated In May
“Some of these hotels are running $300 to $400 a night,” Kelly said.
That’s when the family learned of the Ronald McDonald House. Over the past few years, the house in Camden has become their home away from home.
“This Ronald McDonald House has several fish tanks and several aquatic-themed rooms but it is also very close to the aquarium and that has been such a gift, especially in tough times,” Kelly said.
During Finn’s visits to CHOP, the family can sleep here, eat here, and most importantly, relax here.
“It’s a completely safe area. You don’t bat an eye for a second, you know,” Kelly said. “You know a broken arm or a broken heart? We are going through the same emotions and that’s what’s bringing us together.”
For Kelly and her son, there’s no other place they’d rather be.
“It’s truly magical what they have here and even if hotels were zero cost to us, we’d still choose Ronald McDonald House time and time again,” Kelly said.
You can help children just like Finn.
Our Ronald McDonald House Charities Virtual Telethon runs through 8 p.m. The number you can call: 1-888-506 HOPE, or 1-888-506-4673.MORE NEWS: Friday Night In New Jersey Looks Like Something Out Of 2019 As Restrictions Eased
You can also join in on Twitter and at cbsphilly.com/rmhc.