2014 Golf Family- The Graves

 

Geoff and Stacy Graves first encountered Ronald McDonald House Charities® Wichita when their then 13-month-old daughter Lauren was diagnosed with type one diabetes.  The Graves family arrived at Wesley Medical Center thinking that Lauren had the flu and was told by the doctor that they would have to stay at the hospital for at least 10-12 days.  “We went literally with the clothes on our backs into the hospital to staying there 10 days,” said Geoff Graves, Lauren’s dad.  At the time, Lauren was the youngest case of type 1 diabetes in the state.  

A flurry of treatment for Lauren and lessons for Geoff and Stacy in carbohydrate and calorie counting, giving shots and testing blood sugar followed, but the family found refuge in the Ronald McDonald House Family Room® at Wesley Medical Center.  The Graves family was scared, and their world had just been turned upside down.  “We weren’t really able to leave the hospital, so we were able to go to the Family Room, to get food, meet with family and just get away from everything for a little bit until we had to go back to Lauren's bedside,” said Geoff.

 

A few years later, the Graves’ son Ethan had to be taken to the hospital for what his parents thought was an upset stomach.  At four months old, Ethan was diagnosed with Osteogenesis Imperfecta, which is a brittle bone disease.  The family needed peace yet again, so they found help and comfort in the Ronald McDonald Family Room®.  “It was just a really nice getaway for us; it offered peace and a step away from everything that was happening at whirlwind speed,” said Stacy Graves.

 

Now fast forward several years, the Graves are more than thankful their two kids are happy and healthy.  The family has worked to adapt their lifestyles to accommodate Lauren and Ethan’s needs, but couldn’t be happier with the treatment they received during their traumatic experiences.

 

“You look outside the window of the hospital, and the world just keeps going.  Sometimes you feel so isolated, and it’s really nice to know there are people who care; and there’s someplace to go like the Ronald McDonald House,” said Geoff Graves.