There aren’t enough ways to say thank you to our incredible family of volunteers and donors who continue to make the dream of a Ronald McDonald House of Galveston a reality. Thirty years ago this May, the Ronald McDonald House of Galveston opened its doors and welcomed our first guest families.

Thanks to the generosity of our Galveston community, we’ve been able to provide a safe haven for thousands of families as their children receive life-saving care at the University of Texas Medical Branch and the Shriners Burns Hospital.

Our community has provided thousands of volunteer hours and donations to keep our doors open. As our 30th anniversary approaches, we would like to share the story of one of the thousands of special children who have passed through our doors, children and families that you have helped over the past few decades.

In 1990, at the age of 16, a wonderful young Panamanian’s dream of becoming a pilot was turned to ashes in a horrific car crash. Having lost both his legs in the crash and suffering from terrible infection, he was air lifted to Galveston for life-saving treatment at Shriners, where he spent months as a patient while his mother stayed at our Ronald McDonald House. This young man and his family stayed at the house many times over the next six years as he returned to Galveston every few months for further treatment. He learned to walk, and then run on his prosthetic legs.

During that time, he also made life-long Galveston friends: Vandy Anderson, of blessed memory, took him flying on numerous occasions; others opened their hearts to him in countless ways. He returned to sports, and though he wasn’t able to fulfill his dream of becoming a pilot, he chose a new path, and is now an architect in Panama with a loving wife and children.

He sends his heartfelt thanks to all of you.

Fredell Pollak Rosen is a member of the board of directors of the Ronald McDonald House of Galveston.

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