When Philadelphia Eagles tight end Fred Hill’s 3-year-old daughter, Kim, was being treated for leukemia in 1974, his life changed. He and his wife, Fran, camped out on hospital benches and sat in cramped waiting rooms during Kim’s three years of treatment. The Hills watched other parents and families of seriously ill children do the same thing. Many of the families had to travel long distances for their children to receive medical treatment and couldn’t afford hotel rooms.
The Hills knew there had to be a solution. Fred rallied the support of his teammates to raise funds. Through Jim Murray, the Eagles’ general manager, the team offered its support to Dr. Audrey Evans, head of the pediatric oncology unit at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Evans dreamed of a comfortable temporary residence for families of children being treated at her hospital.
Jim enlisted Don Tuckerman from the local McDonald’s advertising agency, who with the support of McDonald’s Regional Manager Ed Rensi, launched the St. Patrick’s Day Green Milkshake (dubbed the Shamrock Shake) promotion. Funds raised helped buy an old house located near the hospital, which was opened in 1974 as the first Ronald McDonald House. There are now have more than 365 Ronald McDonald Houses that serve more than 7200 families a night around the world.
In This Episode, You Will Learn:
- How the Philadelphia Eagles rallied to support the Fred and Fran Hill when their daughter, Kim, was diagnosed with leukemia.
- How the first Ronald McDonald House was started.
- How families can stay at a Ronald McDonald House at a low cost during their child’s treatment.
- How each Ronald McDonald House is funded.
Connect with Ronald McDonald House – Orange, California:
Connect with Ronald McDonald House Charities – Global:
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