In Their Shoes: The Betancur Family

December 14th, 2022 | Our Families

During our times at the Ronald McDonald House, I’ve met many families from all over the world. You say ‘Gosh, I’m not the only one in these shoes.’ It touches your heart that there are places like this open 24 hours, seven days a week. They provide not only a roof, but a place to sleep, warm food, and people who care about the people walking through these doors. If these walls could talk, there are more stories than you can imagine.” ~Jen Betancur, Jacob’s mom

Like many boys his age, Jacob dreamt of packages with Star Wars toys and Legos inside and being home for the holidays. Yet that wasn’t always his reality, nor his family’s.

Jacob spent the first two years of his life in and out of the hospital with multiple stomach surgeries. He developed immune complications and was diagnosed with severe eosinophilic esophagitis and eosinophilic asthma. His younger brother Jaden was diagnosed with a milder version. His parents spent hours each day with treatments, trying to provide the best environment for the boys to thrive. It became a way of life.

The American Family Children’s Hospital (AFCH) in Madison provided the Betancur’s with hope. Though more than two hours from home, Jacob received injections of an experimental drug to manage immune complications and protect his growing lungs. These monthly treatments gave Jacob and his family a new lease on life, but also meant calling RMHC home for more than 10 years.

When a child faces a medical crisis, parents have tough decisions to make. What if the best treatment is hundreds of miles from home? What if it requires a stay of weeks, months or even a year?

We believe that when a child is hospitalized the love and support of family is as powerful as the strongest medicine prescribed. Your gift reduces the financial burden of costly hotel and travel expenses for families living hours or even a plane ride away from their child’s medical treatment.

You can make RMHC a Home for the Holidays.

The House is fully open to parents, caregivers, and siblings with the expanded 31-room facility full most nights. Our volunteer meal program operates seven nights a week. Community partnerships mean families have access to home-cooked breakfasts, ready-to-grab healthy snacks and bagged lunches delivered daily to the hospital. The Ronald McDonald Family Room continues to serve families with the most fragile NICU babies, while the Ronald McDonald Care Mobile provides preventative healthcare to children who often lack access.

We stand by our mission to provide comfort, care and kindness when families need it most.

The demand for services continues to grow and inflation is hitting our home hard. Will you make a gift of $25, $50, $100, $250, $500 or more and help us raise $200,000 by December 31?

Your generosity – the gift of togetherness – gives families like the Betancur Family the hope they need to stay strong in 2023.


Watch in Their Shoes: The Betancur Family

Watch A Home for the Holidays