“Everyone can identify with the value of a low-cost lodging and most people can appreciate how much better this might be for emotionally distraught parents who would otherwise have to retreat to a strange and lonely hotel or motel room,” said Dr. Fernbach.
With the Houston Oilers’ support and visibility, fundraising began in earnest. Before the end of 1981, a 21- bedroom Ronald McDonald House was built near the Astrodome at 1550 La Concha Lane, meeting a need for a place to stay for families with children being treated for cancer and other serious illnesses. By 1992, the facility was at capacity and families had to be added to a waiting list, leading the RMH Houston Board to initiate a capital campaign to build a larger House.
With loving support and generosity from the Houston community, the new 50-bedroom House opened in September 1997 on Holcombe Blvd. In 2001, RMH Houston opened three Family Rooms at Texas Children’s Hospital, followed by a 20-bedroom House inside TCH in 2002 and in 2007 a 14-bedroom House inside Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. In 2012, RMH Houston opened its fourth Family Room at the Texas Children’s Maternity Center in the Pavilion for Women and in 2013 RMH Houston opened the MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital Ronald McDonald Family Room. RMH Houston’s Holcombe House opened its doors in 1997, and expanded to 70 bedrooms in 2018. During its history, RMHH has grown and expanded to meet the changing needs of families. At the same time, we have remained true to our mission of providing a comfortable, safe, and reliable home away from home.
To read Dr. Fernbach’s story, click here.