The Ronald McDonald House of Fort Worth opened its doors in a stately, historic mansion on 8th Avenue with 11 family bedrooms in 1981. By 1996, demand was so great that a new 20-bedroom House was built just one block from Cook Children’s Medical Center and Harris Methodist Hospital. As those hospitals grew, so did the need for our services, so in 2004, the RMHFW expanded to serve 38 families each night. In addition, a Ronald McDonald Family Room was opened inside Cook Children’s Medical Center. RMHFW opened its latest 20-bedroom expansion in August 2013. The House can now serve up to 58 families each night.
When an unlikely partnership was formed in Philadelphia in 1974 between a doctor, an NFL team, and a restaurant chain, no one could have imagined that the dream of Dr. Audrey Evans for a home-away-from-home for families of seriously ill children would grow to become an international phenomenon.
Working as a pediatric oncologist at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Dr. Evans saw families spend night after night in the hospital while their children received life-saving medical treatment. She knew there had to be a better way, and envisioned a simple house where families could stay during these stressful and uncertain times.
At the same time, the Philadelphia Eagles were raising funds in support of player Fred Hill, whose daughter, Kim, was in treatment for leukemia at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. When the Eagles General Manager Jimmy Murray approached St. Christopher’s about making a donation, Dr. Lawrence Naiman suggested there was an even greater need for funds resting with Dr. Evans.
Jimmy Murray met Dr. Evans and quickly learned of her concept of a home for families. He reached out to McDonald’s with the idea that they could offer the proceeds from their Shamrock Shake sales to benefit this new house. McDonald’s agreed, and the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House was born on October 15, 1974. Today, there are over 318 Houses all over the world serving the very families Dr. Evans sought to help.