One of the families we’ve helped during the past 35 years is the Boxleiters, who live in Dubuque, Iowa. After admitting their newborn daughter, Amelia, to the NICU at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, Chris and Shayna Boxleiter headed to the House, where they stayed for the next 12 weeks while Amelia received medical care.
“We can’t believe that was almost six years ago,” said Shayna. “It was October 2014, and we arrived at the House on Halloween. Instantly, we knew the Ronald McDonald House was special, especially when the staff dressed up in costumes and greeted our two-year-old daughter, Anna, with Halloween treats. That’s a memory that will always stick with us.”
The Boxleiters played a central role in the House’s 30th Anniversary celebration in 2015. Five years later, they still remember and appreciate the incredible support they received during their time of need, and they make generous donations to ensure that the House and its staff are there for other families.
“We know firsthand how much that support means,” said Shayna. “If it weren’t for the Ronald McDonald House and our ability to remain close to Ameilia during her time in the NICU, I truly do not believe she would have come home as soon as she did, develop the way she did, or grow up to be the beautiful, spirited, healthy five-year-old girl she is today.”
The Boxleiters participate in the annual Red Shoe Run and Walk 5K, provide meals, collect “Wish List” items, donate pop tabs, and also donate the funds necessary to cover a family’s stay at the House on Christmas Eve. “Knowing that we are helping families in need is very important to us,” said Chris.
Ameilia recently started kindergarten and is thriving, her parents report. “She is healthy, happy, and proud to be a Hawkeye,” said Shayna. “Anna is now in third grade and is always ready to partake in all our efforts to help the Ronald McDonald House. She still talks about the House and is a great community ambassador for it. Our family is so honored to be part of the RMH family, and we are excited to see what the next thirty-five years have in store for this amazing organization.”