the jao family

The Jao Family

Joey Jao and his wife Jazmine know just how precious it is to be able to stay close during difficult times. Shortly after their daughter Justine was born, she experienced a drop in her oxygen levels and several seizures before being transferred to a hospital many miles from their home. 

           

“She was our first born, so it was terrifying to experience that after a fairly normal pregnancy,” Joey recalls. They were also worried they may have to leave Justine in the hospital to return to their home, a 3-hour drive roundtrip.

 

Joey recalls thinking, “I have to be here by her side.” Thankfully, on the referral of a hospital social worker, Joey and Jazmine were able to utilize the Ronald McDonald Family Room— a space within the hospital to relax and recharge just steps from Justine’s bedside. When it became clear that they’d require more long-term accommodations, the social worker referred them to the Ronald McDonald House a few blocks away.

 

When parents are looking after a child being treated for a serious illness, many stay by their child’s bedside. But research has shown that parents at a Ronald McDonald House enjoy a better quality of sleep, meaning they are more refreshed and better able to care for their child and work with their child’s care team.

 

“To see the compassion, the patience and the support that RMHC gives to families was really heart-warming. They took care of us at a time when all we could think about was our daughter,” explained Joey. They were able to stay at their local House for 40 days until Justine was stable and healthy enough to go home for the very first time.

 

“Our family knows firsthand the impact RMHC can have on families like ours today, and in the future, helping to ensure they can be there for each other when a child gets sick. So during this season of gratitude, even though we can’t all be together with extended family and friends, we are helping support RMHC through McDonald’s #HereForRMHC campaign.”

 

McDonald’s will give $100 in the name of each supporter as part of a $100 million commitment over the next five years to RMHC. To participate, just post a photo or video making the RMHC heart (or another supportive message) to Instagram, Twitter, TikTok or Facebook using #HereForRMHC, now through Dec. 31. Visit McD.to/HereForRMHC for terms.

 

“Jaz and I will always be eternally grateful for the support that RMHC gave to us when we needed it most. It’s great that McDonald’s Corporation is showing their support for RMHC in this way too.”