My name is Emmory McQueen and I am 16 years old from Parker, Colorado. I came to the Ronald McDonald House after having surgery for a rare condition called MALS. I started having pain in my back about 2 years ago and after several scans and tests, doctors dismissed it as chronic pain. I eventually started having pain in my stomach after I ate. It was so bad I couldn’t move for 2 hours. I was unable to eat and lost a lot of weight. Doctors didn’t believe me when I told them about what was happening. I got an NJ tube placed as I could no longer eat anything by mouth. I eventually heard of the diagnoses of Median Arcuate Ligament Syndrome, or MALS. The symptoms matched and when I got the diagnostic test, it was a success. I then traveled to Connecticut and got corrective surgery on the 6th of December. I was able to eat again without pain and I got the NJ tube removed.
After the surgery, we went to the Ronald McDonald House in New Haven. We had to stay in Connecticut for two weeks after the surgery. My family and I were so blessed to be able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House. They were amazing and treated us like family. Without them, we would have been forced to endure the financial burden of a long hotel stay and meals, in addition to the surgery. I also happened to have my 16th birthday during my stay there. My little sister baked me a cake in their amazing kitchen and I could eat it without pain! I still got a special experience for my birthday even though I wasn’t at home. Since we were also there during the holiday season, we got to enjoy the beautiful decorations. This made it easier for my family and I to not be at home during the Christmas season. We were even able to drive up to New York City and see the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center. My family and I are just beyond grateful for the Ronald McDonald House and they will always have a special place in our hearts.