PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In just two days, we’ll present our 12th annual Ronald McDonald House Charities telethon. We call it Give A Little Love, and we’ll be raising money to help the four Ronald McDonald Houses in our area.
Kate Bilo has the story of a family who has stayed at the Ronald McDonald House off and on for almost 20 years.READ MORE: Shooting In Southwest Philadelphia Leaves 4 Men Injured, Police Say
When families come to the Ronald McDonald House, the child is not the only one who receives care. Mom, dad, siblings — they’re all treated with kindness, understanding and peace of mind.
One couple is so very thankful for the Ronald McDonald House and the love they feel every time they enter its doors.
“Honestly, there is no amount of gratitude that could cover it,” Wayne Davidovich said.
Wayne and Wendy Davidovich are so thankful for the Ronald McDonald House of Philadelphia. They’ve been staying at Ronald McDonald Houses for more than 18 years, ever since they found out their daughter had spina bifida.
Sarah, now 18, was diagnosed while Wendy was pregnant.
“I remember coming home after we were diagnosed and we were just laying down and staring into each other’s eyes with no words. Like what do you do? What do you say? Where do we go from here? It was just so intense. One of my family members said it’s going to be a burden, and I’m like, ‘A burden? This is life, this is our baby,'” Wendy Davidovich said.
Wayne and Wendy say if it wasn’t for the Ronald McDonald House, Sarah wouldn’t have been able to have all of her surgeries and get all of her treatments.READ MORE: Temple University Student Samuel Sean Collington Killed In Off-Campus Shooting In North Philadelphia
In fact, the day before we talked with them, Sarah had yet another surgery.
“It went great, it went better than they planned and we’re so glad that we were able to come here and catch it in time because maybe it wouldn’t have been as good if we didn’t, and if we didn’t know we were going to be in such capable hands,” Wendy said.
Wayne says the Ronald McDonald House offers peace of mind and takes away the financial burden of paying for a hotel room.
“Knowing how much they care for everybody and just the warm feeling that you get when you come in here, you can’t find that anywhere. I mean, if you go into a hotel you’re a number. Here, you’re family,” Wayne said.
A family that even made a sick child feel special.
“When she was younger and anything was going to happen to her, when she needed any type of treatment or anything else, the first thing she thought about was coming here. First thing,” Wayne said.
“I tell people all the time it really saved our lives. So for us, it’s our home. This is another home. It truly is another home for us,” Wendy said.
The Ronald McDonald House is truly a sanctuary for so many families.MORE NEWS: 'The Whole World Is Going To See It': Art From Nebinger Elementary Students To Be Featured On National Christmas Tree
Please help support children just like Sarah. Our Give A Little Love Telethon is this Thursday. You can donate from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.