Boy sits on coach with his soccer ball

Comforts of Home: Tanner’s Story

The night before his diagnosis, 6-year-old Tanner from Tucson, Arizona was doing one of his favorite things – playing soccer. But the normalcy he once enjoyed changed drastically when a CT scan uncovered a golf-ball-sized tumor in his brain called medulloblastoma.

Through the stressful and uncertain process of seeking treatment in Phoenix, Tanner’s family, including parents Erika and Andrew and 2-year-old sister Mackenzie, found a great support system
at Ronald McDonald House. “I don’t think we knew how big an impact the diagnosis would have or how long we would be staying,” said Erika. “But as the days and weeks went on, we realized so many people at Ronald McDonald House were meeting our needs and taking care of us. It truly did start to feel like a ‘home-away-from-home.’”

While Tanner’s treatment continues, the comforts of the House bring a sense of routine for the whole family and allow them to “live in both worlds,” as Erika describes. “It has definitely kept our family together,” she said. “It feels like every need we had was met, from the smallest to the biggest thing. Even being able to do laundry here makes you feel like a piece of you is home again.”

Tanner’s parents look forward to the day their son gets to return to his life of running around and being a great big brother, but they are sure the House will always be close to their hearts. “The way it has helped our family through this time,” Erika said, “We will never forget it.”