Putting things in perspective.
Kim Hill lives a long days drive from here. Diagnosed with acute lymphatic leukemia at age three, she remembers, “Days of chemotherapy and radiation treatments were painful and frightening. I never felt good when I was little. I always had pain, terribly nauseated, and stuck with big, long needles. I was always being taken out of school, in the hospital, or sick at home. I had few friends because in school, I thought every one was talking about me or looking at me.”
Jim Murray, Philadelphia Eagles’ assistant public relations director, knew Kim and launched a community campaign christened, “Eagles Fly for Leukemia.” The campaign, built around her, had a goal to build a half-way house across from the hospital where parents could stay after visiting their children, take a shower or a nap or a cup of coffee. Jim called McDonalds and his goal became reality. The first Ronald McDonald House was opened October 15, 1974, at 4032 Spruce Street, Philadelphia.
When Kim attends a Ronald McDonald House grand opening, she sometimes explains, “in some ways I am glad I was sick. I did not enjoy it and I am glad it was me who was because so much good has come from it. I feel like I was put on this place for a purpose. After everything I’ve been through, I’m still here. Somebody must have big plans for me.”
Putting things in perspective, the construction has been painful and we have not enjoyed the suffering. However, something good will come of it. We will be stronger, more resilient, and perhaps a model for other small communities. Like Kim, “we are still here. Somebody must have big plans for Salado.” Each day something good is happening evidence that a new beginning is unfolding.