Barely 24 weeks into her pregnancy Lydia Davis was rushed to the hospital. There she gave birth to her son Ethan, who weighed a mere 1 pound, 4 ounces. He was a micro-preemie. And Lydia was a single mom, three hours from her home, facing a scary, uncertain situation alone.
That’s when the Ronald McDonald House of Central Georgia stepped in, giving her a place to stay right near her baby boy in the NICU. There Lydia and Ethan weren’t alone in their fight – they were greeted with a family of support, including other Mothers who were going through similar trials. Because Lydia was just steps from the hospital, she could spend every second possible at Ethan’s side, holding him, rocking him, giving him the human touch that doctors say preemies need most in order to thrive. Each day he grew stronger and today, Ethan is healthy and almost two years-old.
More than 40 percent of the families that Ronald McDonald Houses serve are like Lydia, benefitting from a House program while their baby is in the NICU, enabling them to give their babies the human touch that helped Ethan grow into a happy and rambunctious toddler.
Correct us if we’re wrong, but there’s something about human touch that affects adults as well. Say, when someone holds your hand, gives you a pat on the head, or just a good old fashioned high five – connections that pass strength, motivation and perseverance onto the next person.
When you are a Team RMHC runner these gestures of encouragement are everywhere. There are slaps on the back; high fives from fellow runners along the trail; quick shoulder massages by family members waiting for you at home; and hugs (oh the hugs!) in exchange for a job well done. Just like RMHC preemies who depend on the healing touch of their parents, marathoners benefit from helping hands. And Team RMHC is there to give you the kind of pick-me-up gestures that will help you go the distance.