Ronald McDonald House Charities Midwest | MN, WI, IA

Ronald McDonald House Charities Midwest | MN, WI, IA

Joyful Javohn
Photo Caption
Thomas (dad: far-left), Javohn (front center) Thomas Jr. (brother: back center) Doret (mom far-right)
Photo Credit
Fagan Studios

“He is a fighter; he is strong,” said Thomas. “And he has so much joy.”
When doctors in Belize—a Central American country with less than 500,000 people—discovered a tumor on Javohn’s brain, they said, “Take him to the United States…if you want him to live.” His first surgery was in Denver and it was successful, but he would need a second surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. After the surgery, doctors recommended radiation treatment for three months. All was well. One year later, during a routine checkup at Mayo Clinic, doctors discovered the brain tumor was gone…but he developed a tumor on his skull. Javohn needed eight months of chemotherapy. The treatment plan was hard on his body, particularly his kidneys.
When they first arrived in Rochester, they stayed at a hotel because their situation was short-term; when they learned about the additional treatment, they were referred to the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester. “I was shocked,” said Thomas. “I did not expect this hospitality. It is truly a home away from home. It is amazing.” Thomas mentioned the volunteers who made them feel welcome, despite it being a different country and culture. And how he can only say thanks to the donors who have provided so much for him and his family.
“The House has everything we need,” Thomas said. “It is perfect.”
Javohn will need medical evaluations every three months for the next two years. Each visit should be short in duration. Doctors are currently working on a plan for Javohn to be seen closer to home, but as Thomas said, “The Ronald McDonald House is our home. The House kept Javohn alive,” Thomas said.

Bryce's Story

Bryce: School started.
I couldn't even make it a full day.
And I would always come home every day and sleep.
So we had him to the doctor numerous times.
They did a lot of different tests.
There's something there.
There's a mass of something there.
Brenda: Chemo, radiation.
You know, and then I think that's when it actually hit.
He has a germ cell tumor
and your whole life is gonna change
and everything's gonna change.
Joe: I have the community back home.
I have the Mayo community,
I have the Ronald McDonald community.
And it's every one of those communities working together.
Places like this are what helps you do it.
A place of hope. Brenda: Mm-hmm.
Joe: Love,
healing in all aspects.
You're not gonna do it by yourself.


Ronald McDonald House Charities Midwest | MN, WI, IA
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