Keeping families together when they need each other most

June 23rd, 2021 | Our Families

Bellamay is the youngest of three. Tony and Monica were excited when they found out they would be having another daughter. At just three months old Bella was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) Type 1 which meant she had a 10 percent chance of living past two years old. Doctors told Monica and Tony that there was nothing they could do and that they should take her home and enjoy the six months they would have with her.

Tony and Monica took Bella home and began researching everything they could about SMA. They found an SMA doctor in Madison who told them about a trial that could help Bella get stronger.

“We didn’t know how we were going to do it. Then we found the Ronald McDonald House,” said Tony. “The hardest thing as a dad is not having the information to help and not being able to do something about it. The doctors just did not know much about SMA at the time which was frustrating.”

The Perez family found comfort at the Ronald McDonald House during their many trips to Madison over the years. RMHC-Madison supported Tony and Monica, allowing them to support their daughter. More than a place to stay, the House provided them with meals and peace of mind.

“We felt welcomed and respected. The Ronald McDonald House was clean and gave us a place to be a family. Our other two daughters, Jeneya and Abigail, were just kids who did not understand what was going on. We brought them along and we would watch movies and play games together at the House.”

The Perez family called the Ronald McDonald House their “home-away-from-home” for four years until they moved to Madison to be closer to the medical care Bella needs. Thanks to the support of her family and the trial, Bella is doing well and just celebrated her 7th birthday!