RMHC, we talk a lot about the network of support found within the walls of a
Ronald McDonald Family Room or Ronald McDonald House. But often times that
support network extends beyond the bricks and mortar, into extended families
and into the community, across state lines and even between different RMHC
Chapters. For Baylee, that support network became an energetic team that dons
purple uniforms as they rally around their friend, daughter, sister, student,
Baylee was sixth months old, doctors discovered a large tumor on her eye as
well as six other cancerous tumors inside her body. It was diagnosed as stage
four neuroblastoma. Devastated but determined, the Bannings sought immediate
treatment at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita.
six rounds of chemo, two weeks of radiation, several surgeries, and multiple
blood transfusions, the Bannings spent countless days in and out of the
hospital, fighting by Baylee’s side. There they found a place where they could
regain their own strength though: the Ronald McDonald Family Room of Wichita,
just steps away from Baylee’s bed. Whether it was a cozy chair, a moment of
quiet, or just a snack, they had all that they needed.
cancer required one more big surgery to help her survive – a full bone marrow
transplant. For this, the Bannings traveled to Cook Children’s Medical Center
in Fort Worth, Texas, where they were again greeted with the signature
compassion and hospitality of RMHC. They checked into the Ronald McDonald House
in Forth Worth and found a network of support that would help them, help Baylee
miraculously beat her cancer.
gave us these amazing places to unwind and get away from beeping machines and
at times very emotional days at the hospital,” said Brianne. “We gained
friends, and by sharing stories we gained hope. By being right next to Baylee
to give her all the hugs and kisses she needed to heal, we helped her get 100%
years later though, in August 2012, Baylee was diagnosed with another rare
cancer – a Wilm’s Tumor was found in her ovary, which required immediate
surgery and more chemo therapy. Once again, Baylee’s team made up of amazing
doctors, her loving and caring family, and RMHC rallied to help her heal.
this next round of cancer fighting required an extra special kind of support –
a little something that her kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Criswell organized. On
Baylee’s chemo days, all her classmates dressed in purple, Baylee’s favorite
color. These ‘purple power days’ gave Baylee strength and motivation to fight
through her treatments. The staff at RMHC Wichita joined in every Thursday and wore purple to show support for Baylee and her family.
Criswell teaches her class that, ‘Alone, you can’t conquer anything. You have
to do it as a team.” And at RMHC Wichita, we couldn’t agree more. Baylee
finished her treatments and is now declared cancer free. We continue to send
love, support and purple power her way.