In October of 2016, Amanda and David Kane elatedly celebrated the news that they would be having a second child. However, just a few months later, their new-baby-bliss quickly turned to fear and anxiety when their unborn child was diagnosed with Spina Bifida in January of 2017.

Doctors referred the Kane’s, who lived in Virginia at the time, to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment so that Amanda could undergo prenatal surgery. They had made arrangements to live with a host family and were grateful to have a comfortable place to stay during Amanda’s recovery as they had to remain close to the hospital. As Amanda and David settled into their new home and began preparing themselves for the long weeks ahead, they were notified that their host family had an emergency and that they would need to find a new place to stay. Fortunately, that same day, they received a call from the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House and were informed that there was a room available for them.

David shared, “The House was a phenomenal support and it took away the worries of everyday activities. We loved being able to socialize with the other families and other fetal surgery moms. We developed some amazing friendships and it was important to have support from friends who really understood what we were going through. The staff and volunteers were incredible—just having someone to talk to was such a great help—but they did even more than that. From the van rides, to the meals, to even having snacks in the kitchen—it was incredible.”

Andrew Kane was born on May 29, 2017 and was discharged a week later. The Kanes were then able to head back home, ready for their next chapter as a complete family. Now, over two years later, Andrew and the rest of the Kanes are living in San Diego and everyone is happy and healthy.

“Andrew is a little flirt and loves to laugh,” says David. “His language is amazing; he is like a little repeater and imitator.” As his personality begins to shine, he is also meeting significant goals in his physical growth: Andrew recently took his first steps!  “His walking has been the biggest physical milestone,” dad shares. David built custom parallel bars to assists Andrew as he learned to walk. “The day I built them he wanted nothing to do with them. The next day almost as soon as I got home Andrew told me that he wanted to walk in the hallway, which is what he calls the bars.”

Andrew will have additional surgical procedures as he grows, and the Ronald McDonald House will be there for the Kanes through their journey. David says, “We miss everyone [in Philadelphia] and keep talking about how great it was to have met everyone while we stayed there. The House is the single greatest thing anyone has ever done for us.”