When Casie was 32 weeks pregnant, she faced an emergency C-Section and the news that there would be a rocky road ahead for her and new baby Aceyn. In addition to his premature birth, Aceyn would need the support of the NICU at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital for a rare genetic condition, IMAGe, and Chronic Lung Disease. When Casie and Aceyn’s dad, Jordan, were told to expect a one year hospitalization, they experienced a roller coaster of emotions. Born a little over 8 months ago, Aceyn’s has had a G-tube, trach, and, about a month ago, his twelfth chest tube. Despite battling several medical conditions, Casie describes him by simply saying, “He’s just a little miracle.” And Casie has been by Aceyn’s side through it all, while Jordan is at home working during the week and visiting on the weekends.
“The Ronald McDonald House is really my home away from home,” says Casie. The House in Iowa City gives Casie a sense of home and provides what she needs to take care of herself. The ability to cook in a kitchen gives her a sense of normalcy. She remembers the first time she cooked chicken wings at the House. It had been a while since she and Jordan shared a meal they prepared together and family time is precious since Jordan and Casie are only able to see each other on weekends.
Casie also cherishes her ability to have meals with other families and tell their stories. She has witnessed how RMH has been a home away from home for so many people. “The House truly means so much and is an important outlet. It is a place to lay my head that is comfortable. The availability for the parking pass is an advantage especially for those moments when I need to get to Aceyn as quickly as possible,” says Casie.
Casie knows how important it is for parents to take care of themselves and try to get some sleep. When she interacts with other families she encourages them to take time for self-care, even if it is just sitting down to paint nails. She knows the support offered at the Ronald McDonald House allows her to practice good self- care and take care of Aceyn in the best way possible.
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RMHC is recognized as a public charity under Internal Revenue Code section 509(a) and has 501(c)(3) status. Donations to RMHC are deductible. Donors should consult their tax advisor for questions regarding deductibility. The RMHC EIN is 42-1189783. A copy of the RMHC determination letter is available upon request.