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“My first impression of the House was love”

The Wilkes family was first introduced to the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill when their son Dylan was diagnosed with right hemihypertrophy, a condition in which the right side of his body is growing larger than his left.

Dylan’s mother Crystal was seeking a hot shower and a warm bed after long days at the Hospital, and the House was the answer. “My first impression of the House was Love,” Crystal said. “Everyone made you feel welcomed, loved, supported and safe.”

Crystal said the biggest challenge of having a sick child is watching them struggle. “It is absolutely draining mentally, emotionally and physically having a child that is sick and having to be away from home where your husband and other child is,” she said.

Despite the missed days of work and long days filled with appointments, Crystal remembers coming back to House and confiding in listening ears and warm friends. She says, “If you need support, a safe and welcoming place to stay, the House is your answer.”

In July, the Wilkes family attended the family reunion at the House to visit with old friends and give back to a place that means a lot to them.

“It means the world to me to be able to give back to a place that has helped our family so much,” Crystal said. “Being able to reach others for support for the House is awesome.”

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