"Our story began on January 22, 2019 with our 3-year-old baby girl, Kaia, being diagnosed with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma. This diagnosis came after several months of fighting many ailments. To say we were blindsided would be an understatement. My thoughts were:
What do we do now? Where do we go? How will I continue to work to support my family?
First, we needed to do some homework to get a plan in place. Neuroblastoma is a relatively rare childhood cancer, accounting for only 6% of childhood cancers with only 800 new cases per year in the United States. The condition forms in certain types of nerve tissue. In Kaia’s case, it formed in her adrenal gland and spread into her bone marrow and various parts of her bones.
We were advised to begin chemotherapy immediately.
And so our journey began…
We knew Kaia would require at least 6+ rounds of chemotherapy (5 inpatient days each round), major surgery, radiation, then very painful immunotherapy with various scans and checkups in between. I wasn’t sure how I would possibly be able to maintain my job. However, my employers were simply incredible and wanted to help however they could.
We were assigned a social worker to help us navigate these new and uncharted waters. That’s when we were told about the Ronald McDonald House. The first person I spoke with at the House could not have been more helpful, compassionate, and accommodating. I took a tour and was blown away! The House was kept in immaculate condition.
All of Kaia’s surgery and treatments had all gone to plan, however, a slight increase in uptake in one “spot” landed us back in a routine to have inpatient treatments. We returned to the Ronald McDonald House.
I must have walked to and from the hospital a hundred times. Each time, I would walk over the many inspirational bricks on the Healing Walkway at the House, which inspired me and helped give me the boost I needed.
We have since donated a brick bearing Kaia’s name and the phrase “Never Ever Give Up” to inspire and comfort those walking to the hospital that they are not, and will never, be alone.
As we hope and pray daily that our daughter’s health continues to improve as planned, it has been a game changer to have the Ronald McDonald House to call home and to continue to be able to run my business, take business calls, and even be provided with a warm meal during the week.
A HUGE thank you to the RMH team for treating my family so kindly, and for providing us with an amazing place to rest and recharge during these very, very challenging days.”
Much Love - Brian on behalf of the Lauro Family
Every day, families face the challenge of having a child in the hospital, and your generosity helps Ronald McDonald House Charities of Connecticut and Western Massachusetts keep them together. Learn more about our programs and join our community of supporters.