“All those times families opened up to me while volunteering, I never thought we would be in that position ourselves one day.”
When a child is ill or injured, when a family is struggling in the chaos of a medical crisis, when basic medical care is difficult to access, and deep anxiety impacts the entire family . . . what matters most?
A family always wants the best care for their child — and that care may be far from their home. They want to be at their hospitalized child’s side — and they also need to be well-rested and strong enough to make tough medical decisions.
Thankfully, with supporters like you by our side, Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley is there to provide the comfort and support families, like the Cochran family, need. You help us make families feel at home even when they can’t be. You help us create a respite away from the hospital so parents can recharge and remain strong. You help us provide access to basic medical care they cannot receive at home.
In so many ways, you help us care for families so they can focus on what matters most…their child.
Sherril Cochran began her journey with Ronald McDonald House in 2011 as a volunteer. A friend asked her to help with decorating the House for the holidays and Sherril was excited about the opportunity. The Ronald McDonald House was a new organization in the area and the mission compelled her. It was such a necessary cause that supported the community and she was happy to help bring some joy to the families staying at the House.
Decorating quickly turned into cooking for the Meals that Heal program and fundraising for the House through their many events. Throughout the years, Sherril would gather with friends, family and co-workers to decorate the House for the holidays, cook & serve countless meals to families and show up in support of the mission to fundraising events. Although she never needed the support of a service like Ronald McDonald House, she recalled that her own children had been treated just across the street at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital and Westchester Medical Center when they were young and always thought of the families who would benefit from her efforts. It was in the Spring of 2021 that Sherril would find herself back at Ronald McDonald House in a different way.
After more than a year of not being able to volunteer at the House due to Covid restrictions, Sherril walked through the doors, not as a volunteer but as a Mother and Nana, there to support her own daughter whose newborn baby was being treated in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and whose older 2-year-old son needed to be cared for. “All those visits to the House, cooking, making donations and decorations, it never occurred to me that one day I would need to use the House”. Sherril’s grandson, Tyler was unexpectedly transferred from Orange County to the NICU in Westchester County several days after his birth. Sherril found herself supporting her frightened daughter and caring for her 2-year-old grandson, Cooper. With the added stress and uncertainty of Covid, she hadn’t even met her new grandson Tyler.
Sherril’s daughter and son-in-law live more than an hour from the hospital in Westchester and instead of spending time in the car on long stressful drives back and forth daily or alternative lodging near the hospital with a 2-year-old, they were able to spend their time nurturing their newborn baby and be involved in his diagnosis and daily care. Sherril was able to stay with her daughter at the House and care for Cooper. “I can’t tell you how valuable it is to be so close to Tyler and keep Cooper with his family. It is almost indescribable what a relief not only monetarily but emotionally to have Ronald McDonald House. Driving, showering, meals, bring on anxiety that you were unaware of before. Trying to spend time with your newborn, while taking care of a family is exhausting under normal circumstances. Ronald McDonald House takes away so much of the angst, so that young mothers can concentrate on the care of their littlest family members.”
Sherril and her family got to go home all together after just 21 nights. Tyler is doing well and Sherril’s daughter and son-in-law are grateful that the Ronald McDonald House was there to give them the time and ability to be with their son when it was most important. Sherril spends her days caring for her grandsons but plans to continue volunteering at the House soon, but with a whole new perspective.
Being together was what mattered most — and it was the only way they could make it through days of uncertainty. No matter the amount, your gift today will offer help and hope in caring practical ways. Thank you in advance for being there for families when they need it most!