Our House through the eyes of 12-year old Lucas
I had just turned 7 when I started to feel sick. Initially the doctors thought it could be growing pains or Fifths Disease, but as I got sicker, my mom (Maureen) believed that something could be really wrong. Three months later, my doctor told us the news that confirmed my mom’s fears. I had Leukemia (Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia(A.L.L.)). My chemotherapy treatments at Children’s Hospital (Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo) began right away. My mom never left my side, staying on a pull-out couch in my hospital room for the month of my treatments. As I started to lose my hair, I asked my mom and she shaved her head and lost her hair too! My sister even shaved her head!
My treatments continued on and off over the next 5 years at different hospitals with all kinds of treatments.
Living in a hospital was not fun. My room always felt small and drab and I could only have two visitors at a time. I never had any privacy, it was not fun. My bone marrow transplant treatment at Roswell in April brought me, my mom and sisters back to Buffalo and for the first time we stayed at the Buffalo Ronald McDonald House.
Wow, the RMH made my life easier, I like it. The Ronald McDonald House puts food in my stomach and a roof over my head and my mom’s head. I don’t have to worry. Without the RMH I would still be in the hospital and that would not be fun. We met some great people at the House. My mom appreciated all the different groups that came to cook meals for the families and taco nights were my favorite.
My room here is really cool. We have a suite! I like the design and that more than two people fit in the room. My mom stays with me in a real bed and my sisters can visit, stay with me and spoil me (after all, I am the baby brother!). I have my own TV in my room and my mom set me up so I can play my video games – “Call of Duty” is my favorite. And I can watch my favorite show: WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) – my favorite Wrestlers are “The Rock” and John Cena. The best thing about my room is the ‘Vacant/Occupancy’ sign on my bathroom door – I never have to worry about someone walking in when I am in there. That was not the case at the hospital.
If I had to sum up my stay at the Ronald McDonald House I would say: It’s nice here, it’s cool and colorful and I have the freedom to go for walks in the House yard without my pole (IV pole).
I love the playroom, especially the bus. Miss Lynn and the volunteers were always looking after my mom, sisters and me. Miss Lynn even set me up so I could watch a movie in the front living room when my friend Stella came to visit (Another little girl with A.L.L.).
My mom agrees and tells everyone, “The RMH makes our life easier and feel more normal. Everything you need is here, like at home and you are not isolated, there are people here to talk to and very friendly staff. I am a mom with an ill child, worrying is something I always do, but this house makes me feel relaxed and revived and for a few minutes each day – worry free. The RMH is a good place to go to transition from the hospital to home. At the house, other people support you and it is one step closer to home.”
On April 19th, the doctors confirmed I was stable enough to go home and the first thing I am going to do is play with my two rescue dogs Dixie and Lucy and my two rescue cats, Tuxedo and Brooklyn. Next year maybe I will be able to go camping.
I will always be grateful to the Ronald McDonald House in Buffalo. My mom likes to say I am a lot about giving back because I am always helping the other kids during treatment. All I know is that, my mom, me and my sisters, plan on coming back to the House and cooking a meal for the guest families to give something back to the House that gave us so much. Maybe my mom is right!
– Lucas Lowe