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Reflections on 18 years at the Ronald McDonald House

July 27th, 2022

It seems weird that the past two nights are the last nights that Laban and I will stay at the Ronald McDonald House in Madison.

Laban was about two and a half years old when we first came to the House. He will be 21 years old on Christmas Day. He was such a sickly little boy, but we had no idea that he had an underlying disease that caused his many illnesses. He was three and a half years old before he was diagnosed with “immune deficiency” and it wasn’t until closer to five years old that he was diagnosed with Common Variable Immune Deficiency (CVID) which made him prone to recurrent infections.

We have been so thankful to have the Ronald McDonald House to come “home” to when he was so sick that the upper left lobe of his lung was flat, so his heart was in the middle of his chest. All of this was due to his several cases of pneumonia. In his first year alone, he had pneumonia nine times. We are so thankful for Dr. Seroogy and Dr. Schroth and the other specialists at American Family Children’s Hospital who helped us along the way by not only diagnosing him with his illnesses (he has slight cerebral palsy as well) but also prescribing him the medicine he needed to fight off the very deadly pneumonia he would have gotten without the treatment he received.

Laban has come so very far. We are so proud of him. He graduated from high school and now works at the high school he graduated from in maintenance. We are sad that we will not be able to come and stay with our friends at the Ronald McDonald House, but we are so very thankful for the times when the House was a refuge for a very sick child and his mom.

Best of luck to all of you and thank you for your hospitality in trying times!

Sarah Tikka and Laban Talo