I was given the director's business line and personal cell phone numbers. I knew this meant that they wanted to make things right. I called the company line first to see how receptive they were to my call. I figured if I didn't hear back in a reasonable time, I'd call the cell phone number next. When I called, I received a voicemail prompting me to leave a message. About ten minutes later, the friendly director called me back. What she said truly touched my heart. One thing that made me choke up was that she said that since she's been the director for just over a year they've had two cases like mine where they failed a family. Her reaction to that was that that was two incidents too many. Wow!
She wanted me to know that she was glad that she received my email on Friday because she needed the weekend to process this. It hit her really hard. In my family's hour of need, the Ronald McDonald House did not help but added to our stress. The staff's desire is that the House to be a place where families can go check email, do laundry or have a warm meal. I really felt that this individual was genuinely sorry and that she wanted to make things right.
She informed me that she had read my blog and was going to use my experience as a tool to educate her employees about. Her desire is that all families be treated with dignity and respect. My situation is no less important than those of any other health crisis a parent of an ill child may be facing. She agreed with me that my daughter was facing a life threatening illness.
My daughter may not have cancer or kidney failure or need an emergency surgery, but that does not make her illness any less. I am very well aware that my daughter's Bipolar Disorder means that she has an increased risk of suicide. She's also got ADHD, OCD, and Autism that make things even more difficult. I'm fighting for her and others like her to defy the odds. The deck might be stacked against her, but I'm knocking it over.
The director ended our conversation by telling me how brave I was phone to her. She said that if it were her that she would not have made the call. I told her that I am on a mission to make sure that our family's experiences doesn't happen to another family. I want things to be better for others. I let her know that I have the opportunity in a few weeks to speak to Congress about our nation's mental health crisis. I'm not going to be a parent that just complains, but rather one who helps to affect change.
This picture depicts what I hope more families experience when their child is ill, whatever the illness is.