MEMPHIS, TN – The calls came in droves with donors opening their pocketbooks for the Ronald McDonald House. It's the home away from home for cancer patients at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and their families.
Of the roughly 50 patients at the Ronald McDonald house, it's hard not to notice 17-year-old Savannah Irwin. Her spunky personality is unconquered by a dark diagnosis which began with mono.
“They did some blood work and they called St. Jude and were like, ‘You guys need to look at this because I don't think we can help her,’ and I didn't realize it but I'm pretty sure that at that point they realized I had leukemia they just didn't say anything to me,” Irwin said.
That was in July and for the past three months the Mississippi native has been living at the Ronald McDonald House with her mother free of charge.
“I can't think of any way it's not beneficial,” Irwin said.
It's thanks to generous people who donate their talent, time and money that keep the Ronald McDonald house afloat, from volunteers to donors with deep pockets.
“I took the first call this morning and our first call at 6 am was a $2,000 donation,” Pam Mallett said.
The Memphis Ronald McDonald House raised more than $7 million since opening in 1991.
During the last Radiothon, donors offered $300,000 to help cancer patients on their road to recovery. Savannah says it's not too bad.
“I mean just losing my hair was a big thing for me. Obviously being a 17-year-old girl and all. But it doesn't matter now it's just cold outside,” she joked.
But every phone call and every donation is enough to warm the heart.
Volunteers will take calls from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. November 1st through November 3rd.
To donate, call 1-800-230-5437. You can also listen to the Radiothon on 98.1 The Max and 98.9 News Talk FM.