Ronald McDonald House helps Indiana woman stay close to her sick

Ronald McDonald House helps Indiana woman stay close to her sick child in Knoxville

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Each and every morning for nearly six weeks, Lisa Wiley walked the streets of Fort Sanders to East Tennessee Children's Hospital. She repeated that journey three times a day Each and every morning for nearly six weeks, Lisa Wiley walked the streets of Fort Sanders to East Tennessee Children's Hospital. She repeated that journey three times a day
The reason was Wiley's adopted son Braden. He was born addicted to drugs and is being treated for withdrawal at Children's Hospital. ETCH has received national attention for its approach with addicted newborns. The reason was Wiley's adopted son Braden. He was born addicted to drugs and is being treated for withdrawal at Children's Hospital. ETCH has received national attention for its approach with addicted newborns.
The only problem is Children's Hospital is hundreds of miles from Wiley's home in Indiana. The only problem is Children's Hospital is hundreds of miles from Wiley's home in Indiana.
"You see them cry, and you go through that together because it is hard. Everyone is going through a struggle and is worried about their child, but it's also nice. 'How's Braden? How's Stormy?'" Lisa Wiley said. "You see them cry, and you go through that together because it is hard. Everyone is going through a struggle and is worried about their child, but it's also nice. 'How's Braden? How's Stormy?'" Lisa Wiley said.
By KRISTIN FARLEY
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Many people have heard of the Ronald McDonald house or donated to the non-profit, but what about the people it really benefits?

6 News wanted you to understand just how valuable this "home-away-from-home" really is, so we followed the journey of one family who was forever changed by the Ronald McDonald House in Knoxville.

Related story: Ronald McDonald House in Knoxville helps thousands of ill children's families

Each and every morning for nearly six weeks, Lisa Wiley walked the streets of Fort Sanders to East Tennessee Children's Hospital. She repeated that journey three times a day

The reason was Wiley's adopted son Braden. He was born addicted to drugs and is being treated for withdrawal at Children's Hospital. ETCH has received national attention for its approach with addicted newborns. The only problem is Children's Hospital is hundreds of miles from Wiley's home in Indiana.

"Watching my son go through this has been the biggest struggle of my life," she said.

Wiley spent one night in a hotel, but she knew that would not be feasible long term. She even considered going back to Indiana, knowing the medical care would likely not be as good, until she was told about the Ronald McDonald house.

"I had heard of the Ronald McDonald House, but did not know all was involved in it," she said.

While her husband had to go back to Indiana to continue to work, Wiley found an extended family here with the staff and the other families who are staying here while their children are fighting for their lives just a few doors down.

"You see them cry, and you go through that together because it is hard. Everyone is going through a struggle and is worried about their child, but it's also nice. 'How's Braden? How's Stormy?'" she said.

Adding to that feeling of support are the little things at Ronald McDonald House. Wiley said she is so appreciative of the donated toiletries, laundry facilities and supplies, linens, and of course the meals, all free. They make the long stay away from home possible, both financially and emotionally.

"Dinner is provided almost every night by members of the community, or people who have previously lived here for a period of time, or know someone that has benefited from the Ronald McDonald House. You know they are home baked meals, and you can't ask for anything more," Wiley said.

Those of us here at 6 News were happy to be at the house Tuesday to provide a hot meal, and do some much needed work around the house. The Ronald McDonald house needs volunteers and donations to operate.

Ellenburg Landscaping and Nursery donated some of the supplies.

This is all part of a new way to help our community called 6 On Your Side Day of Service. Once a month we're sharing stories from different organizations in our community, and even stepping in to help out.   

More online: 6 On Your Side Day of Service Request

If you know an organization that's in need, click on the link above and fill out a 6 On Your Side Day of Service request form.
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