Families find home away from home during holidays

Posted at 8:02 PM, Dec 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-21 23:25:04-05

When families have loved ones in the hospital, many of them are unable to travel home to enjoy the holidays with extended family. 

For families who have children in the hospital in Temple, the Ronald McDonald House Charities provides a home away from home at all times of the year for families of seriously ill or injured children. The Ronald McDonald House allows them a place to stay for $10 a night, but no one is ever turned away if they cannot pay it.

"The hospital is right across the street. If you just need a minute to get away from hospital land away from the chaos, it's a good place to come and regroup and focus," Traci Greer said.

Around Christmas time, they decorate the facility with trees and offer activities on Christmas Day for families to celebrate the holiday.

Traci Greer, and her granddaughter Lizzy Greer, know what it's like to be in the hospital during the holidays. Lizzy was diagnosed with Stage Four Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of cancer found in children.

Lizzy and Traci spent six weeks at the Ronald McDonald House in Dec. 2016 and spent Christmas there.

"She and I were here for six weeks. She did her radiation treatment everyday, five days a week, an hour a day," Traci Greer said. 

Traci Greer said it's a home away from home for them. 

"When you're here as much as we are, it gets to be like him," Traci said.

Lizzy found out in September she was cancer-free. On Thursday, she went back to the hospital for testing and was told that her scans show she is still cancer-free.

"She had her scans today and they came back there's still no cancer, she's still in remission and cancer free," Traci said.

Traci and Lizzy have advice for the families who are in the middle of fighting cancer right now.

"It's not the material, it's the quality of the time you get. Because every minute counts when you don't know how many minutes you have," Traci said.

"It's okay. You're fine. You're going to beat it soon," Lizzy said.

To learn more about the Ronald McDonald House in Temple, click here

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