The Berggren Family

On October 22, 2018 teenager Toby Berggren from Bondurant, Iowa was diagnosed with anorexia and placed in the eating disorder unit at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital (UISFCH). His parents Dan and Karen were ready to be there for Toby with love and support for the entirety of his treatment. With three other kids in the house and Toby going to a hospital almost 105 miles away, Karen contacted the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois (RMHC-EIWI) and made the trip to Iowa City with Toby.

Toby spent over three months away from home treating his eating disorder as well as anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). His mother Karen knows how lucky they were to have RMHC-EIWI in their lives, “Financially, the House was a tremendous help for our family. There is no way we could have stayed in a hotel for over three months.” Those months in Iowa City included the two biggest holidays of the year: Thanksgiving and Christmas. But the Berggren’s felt at home during the holidays explains Karen, “With all the Thanksgiving fixings, the House decorated with Christmas trees, and presents available for the kids, Ronald McDonald House made us feel at home.”

During her time at the House, Karen wasn’t a stranger to the families or the RMH staff, “My favorite memory is just meeting new people from all different walks of life. Each day of the three months we spent at RMH I built lasting friendships that I will never forget.” Overall, Karen felt thankful to have RMH in her life when she needed it most, “Being surrounded by great staff members, amazing volunteers, and not having to drive three hours to see my son was such a blessing.”

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