Rachel’s Story

After eleven-year-old Rachel began missing a huge amount of 6th grade due to Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and declining mobility, her parents Heather & Jeremy knew they needed to do something more to help their daughter. They discovered the Calm Air Pain Therapy clinic located in Ashland, VA a treatment that was unlike anything offered in their home state of Georgia. They began to try and put the pieces together to see how they could make this option a reality for Rachel.

“Jeremy and I are new, small business owners and we have to make every penny count. We knew we would have to pay out-of-pocket for Rachel’s treatment. Being able to stay at the Ronald McDonald House was essential. We were able to save the expense of hotel stays and many of our meals. Without this support, this trip would not have been possible,” says Heather.

Rachel and her mom Heather traveled from their hometown of Dacula, Georgia and settled into their “home-away-from-home” at Richmond’s Ronald McDonald House on Monument Avenue. “I lived in Richmond right after college and loved that the Ronald McDonald House was located in the Fan neighborhood. The House is beautiful and the location in the Fan is a gem,” recalls Heather.

For three weeks, Rachel would receive outpatient therapy treatments and then return home to the Ronald McDonald House. “Rachel is a very social kid and enjoyed engaging with the volunteers and taking part in holiday festivities like Christmas carolers and a visit from Santa. A group of Capital One employees made dinner at the House one night and the next day they sent Rachel a bouquet of flowers wishing her well- it was so special. We also loved connecting with other families staying in the House. We got to know one family in particular really well and they would invite Rachel to play cards with them in the evening. It helped put a smile on her face.”

Heather shared, “The people here made this experience. There is so much love and hope that comes through the doors every day. If it were not for RMHC Richmond we would not have been able to access this treatment for Rachel. The therapy has helped her improve her functioning and will allow her to be able to return to school at the beginning of next semester. We are heading home with hopes of moving toward remission!”