BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – It’s a place where parents can stay to be close to their kids when they’re in the hospital.
Since the Bakersfield Ronald Mcdonald house opened 10 years ago, they’ve served over 5,000 families.
And, this weekend you can help them continue that mission at the Walk for Kids fundraiser.
Christa Mcauley lost her daughter to leukemia almost 20 years ago, but she still remembers how comforting and helpful the ronald mcdonald house was during her worst moments.
Mikella Mcauley was diagnosed with leukemia in 2000.
“Mikella was literally my everything,” said Mcauley. “She was my first daughter. She was just happiness.”
Doctors told Mcauley, Mikella would need a bone marrow transplant.
“We put her face on the news asking people to donate bone marrow and people came out in thousands,” said Mcauley.
Unfortunately, a match wasn’t found in time.
“Mikella had quite a mix,” said Mcauley. “I’m native American and Hispanic and her father is Canadian and Irish, so she had quite a mix of genes, so that made it hard to find a perfect match.”
Mikella passed away in October 2001.
“Whatever I do, I just want to continue to keep her memory alive,” said Mcauley.
This Saturday, Mikella will be one of the honorees at the Bakersfield Ronald Mcdonald House’s annual Walk for Kids. An organization Mcauley remembers fondly.
“It was a week that we spent in the Ronald Mcdonald House and it was during the time that my daughter went into ICU, so we couldn’t stay in the room with her and just to know that I was literally a walk across the parking lot from her was great,” said Mcauley.
The Ronald Mcdonald House provides families with a place to stay while their child is in the hospital.
“Just knowing that we give families time that otherwise they may not have had with their child, I think that’s the most meaningful part of her job,” said Scarlett Sabin, director at the Bakersfield Ronald Mcdonald House.
All proceeds of the walk go to the house. Sabin says the funds raised during the walk amount to two-thirds of the organization’s annual budget.
“It’s a great cause, come out, whatever you can donate to the Ronald McDonald house, it stays here locally and it’s such a worthy cause,” said Mcauley.
The walk is on Saturday at CALM. Registration begins at 7 a.m. the walk begins at 9.
To register online, go to walkforkids.org/bakersfield. You can also make a donation here.