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Jett’s Journey

When Suzi Leahy was 23-weeks pregnant with Jett, her youngest of four children, she learned he had a complete unbalanced atrioventricular septal defect, a congenital heart disease. At the time, her husband AJ was deployed in Iraq. AJ returned home five days later to be with his family. Together with their children, the Leahy family has stayed at the Ronald …

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Eldon’s Story

Eldon Self and his mom Patricia have traveled from their home in Leland, North Carolina to the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill nearly 30 times since August 2017. The three-hour car ride has become quite routine for the fourteen-year old — but not as routine as the smiling faces and listening ears that greet him and his mother the …

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Sebastian’s Story

12-year-old Sebastian Gonzalez is being treated at N.C. Children’s Hospital. He and his family are from Costa Rica. Sebastian has desmoplastic small round cell tumor, a rare abdominal cancer. He is being cared for by Dr. Andrea Hayes-Jordan, one of the few doctors in the world specialized in treating this disease. While in North Carolina, Sebastian and his family are …

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Carolina Love: Three’s a Crowd, Six is Family

Some say three’s a crowd, but AJ and Jessie Smith of Wilmington, North Carolina believe six is a family. On July 25, triplets Bailey, Lainey and Ruby joined their big siblings Chloe (7), Finn (4) and Huxley (2). “We were supposed to have a 9:30 am surgery and got bumped by emergency c-sections all day,” Jessie said. “They all came …

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Carolina Love: “The Funniest Little Boy in the Whole Entire World!”

Ethan Stone was born at 36 weeks on April 4, 2015 in Wilmington, North Carolina. And his mother, Jerianne, would receive her first mother’s day gift at the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill just one month later. “I got lucky, Ethan’s birthstone is a diamond.” Ethan has a G tube, a tracheostomy tube, a cleft palate, a congenital heart …

Joyner Family

Faith Grows with Baby Shepherd

When Stephanie and Noah Joyner found out they were pregnant with their third child, they were absolutely thrilled. Halfway through the pregnancy however, they discovered that the baby had a two-vessel umbilical cord instead of the standard three. Initially, doctors weren’t overly concerned, but at 32 weeks, doctors recommended weekly ultrasounds as well as other tests, as they had concerns …

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Unit of Four: Facing Challenges Together

As a military family, Eric and Cheryl Browning and their sons Darien and Connor are used to facing hard challenges and sticking together. Eric, who is stationed at Camp Lejeune, has been deployed to Iraq twice and was injured during his first tour by a blast from an improvised explosive device- a road bomb. But the Brownings faced their biggest …

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A Family’s Journey with Cystic Fibrosis

A child’s illness will often mean a journey for the entire family. Years of treatment, setbacks and triumphs will mark this journey. And sometimes, the journey is also marked by thousands of miles of travel. For Kyle Lane and his family, the journey has lasted more than 16 years and has taken them from New Jersey to Florida to North …

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Jordan’s Smile Lights Up the House!

Five year-old Jordan Greiner and her mom Lisa have called the Ronald McDonald House home for nearly a year since Jordan’s diagnosis with leukemia. After months of strange bruising and misdiagnoses, Jordan ended up in the hospital when she suffered severe complications from a hamster bite. Blood tests revealed that Jordan had advanced acute myeloid leukemia. Following an extended regimen …

Not your average teenager…

Sixteen is an exciting age. Younger teens look forward to this milestone in eager anticipation, the age when they can finally get a driver’s license, moving one step closer towards independence. But sixteen-year-old Paul Rader was preoccupied by a much more challenging milestone: oral surgery necessary to fix the effects of radiation treatments he received as a little boy. In …