Whatever It Takes – The Brimer Family

“Staying at the Ronald McDonald House of Western Michigan has been a huge blessing to my family and has made it possible to be able to get my son the care he needs.” – Jennifer Brimer

My 9-year-old son, Kaleb, has a brain defect that brings us to Grand Rapids to see a neurosurgeon every year or so. While establishing him at a new doctor, he had to undergo extra testing because Kaleb’s been having some problems lately. The neurosurgeon at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital also wanted us to see a neurologist to help manage these new problems. Trying to coordinate both specialists as well as getting Kaleb the extra tests needed at the radiology department hasn’t been an easy task and oftentimes is hard to accomplish in just a day. This requires being close to the hospital and we live on Drummond Island. From our home to the hospital is a 6-hour drive, which includes a trip across a ferry to the mainland and then a trip across the bridge to the lower peninsula. Neither of these obstacles are very predictable this time of the year, so you have no choice but to start making your trip to Grand Rapids a day or two in advance. Even at that, the weather has made the trip upwards of 9 hours long for me. It’s definitely not possible to do all this in a day. 

I’m not even sure how I could’ve done all this if not for RMHWM. I had to resign from my job this fall when my son’s health was getting bad. I knew I wouldn’t be able to take him to his specialists and attend to his needs properly while meeting the demands my job required. As a result, our family has been struggling financially and there’s no way we could’ve afforded to have stayed in a hotel for all these appointments. 

Each stay at the RMHWM, has been a blessing to us. We have stayed at the House 4 times in the past 6 months, so we’ve gotten to know a lot of the people down there. Everyone has been so kind to us, even when we’ve had to stay at the hotel during the flood. Staying at a hotel was still a blessing but we deeply missed the comfort that the House brought. We didn’t have the comfort of being around the other guest families nor did we get to be around the wonderful volunteers and staff at the RMHWM. They truly make a hard situation more bearable. I was so glad we were able to be back in the House again this last time because my husband and daughter could stay with us, too. Thank you for all you do.