Red Shoes Stepping Out to Provide Hope

August 22nd, 2022

The Hancocks Family’s journey to find medical answers for their daughter has meant traveling more than 100,000 miles over the past 13 years. Since Lucy’s diagnosis with Parry Romberg Syndrome (PRS) at birth, Jodie and Nick have searched the globe. Their quest began from their home in Australia and led them to Madison, Wisconsin where Dr. John Siebert specializes in the treatment of this rare autoimmune disease. More than six surgeries later, their journey has provided relief but is still far from over.

The Bentacur Family did not travel quite so far, but still two hours from home. Their young son Jacob, and his brother Jayden, required ongoing treatments for a rare and debilitating allergy condition that started at an early age. They were fortunate to find medical expertise in Madison which provided a cure for the boys but has required monthly visits over the course of seven years.

Parents can empathize with the innate desire to do whatever is humanly possible to make their child better and bring them comfort. Even traveling to the ends of the earth if necessary. Yet in reality can be staggering. Medical crises for a child are daunting enough on their own. Add in costly airline flights and travel expenses, time off work and juggling life’s schedules for an entire family and it quickly becomes overwhelming, especially when the timeframe for recovery is unknown.

We often say the Ronald McDonald House exists, so families do not have to worry about where they lay their heads or get a warm meal when their child is facing a medical crisis. Parents and siblings alike will tell you that staying together, even celebrating birthdays and holidays at the House if necessary, is what makes it not only bearable but an essential part of the recovery process.

Keeping our doors open is job one and raising funds through key events like the 33rd Annual RMHC-Madison Golf Classic | Red Shoe Soiree makes it possible to offer comfortable rooms, warm meals, and caring staff and volunteers when families need it most.

At RMHC-Madison, all rooms are open at the House and Family Room, and the Care Mobile is gearing up for back-to-school vaccinations and wellness checks. Inflation is driving the cost of our recently expanded and renovated facility to staggering new heights as we continue to keep families, staff, and volunteers in a safe environment during this new phase of the pandemic. The urgency and need never cease.

Just weeks before the 2nd Annual Red Shoe Soiree, I oversaw teenage boys and their moms making dinner for guest families one Sunday afternoon and it struck me how incredibly powerful our mission is for families.  There, on a quiet summer eve, a doctor stopped by the House to have coffee and meet with a family in our guest dining room.  It could have been a scene from anyone’s kitchen, talking with friends.  Yet this doctor took time to stop by their home-away-from-home to check on the family after surgery. While not privy to the conversation, it was clear this was family-centered care at its best.  Hard decisions are never timed for convenience, but to do so in a warm and comforting environment melted some of the stress away.

Fast forward to early August at the Red Shoe Soiree. The energy was high and hearts were open as guests listened to the Betancurs – featured in the new RMHC-Madison video – and the Hancocks talk about what their journey with RMHC has meant to them. Some guests in the room have been friends of RMHC since it opened nearly 30 years ago.  Some were there as legacy families, adult children also championing the cause.  Some were new to the mission, but eyes wide open as they felt the power of this inspiring mission.

To date, the 33rd Annual RMHC-Madison Golf Classic | Red Shoe Soiree & Golf Outing has reached new heights by raising more than $275,000, with a weather-delayed golf outing yet to be played.  What a critical time for friends of RMHC-Madison to support our families through sponsorships, golf registrations, live appeal, and live and silent auctions.

It takes a dedicated village to come together in support of our families and we are humbled and proud of the success of this event.  Thank you to all for providing such a beautiful respite for our families.

Deborah Still
Director of Development


RMHC-Madison In Their Shoes Video

33rd Annual RMHC-Madison Golf Classic | Red Shoe Soiree photos