Harmony’s Story

Harmony with mom and sister

Having a child in treatment can be a very lonely time for a parent, but Tanya Barnes finds hope and comfort at the Ronald McDonald House of Gainesville when she stays there with her daughters Harmony and Serenity Brown. Harmony is in treatment for a recurrent of Wilm’s tumor at Shands Children’s Hospital, but the family is always happy when they are at the House. For Tanya’s family the Ronald McDonald House is a true away from home.

The families and staff at the Ronald McDonald House showed Tanya that her family was not alone. There were others going through the same thing.

“I didn’t realize that there were families with similar situations or other children who were also going through a lot,” Tanya said. “Everyone was nice and seemed to be of good help.”

Though Tanya and her daughters were not often able to interact with others in the House because of Harmony’s trips to and from the hospital, knowing there were other families to talk to and pray with comforted them during their stay. Someone was there for them no matter what.

Tanya has tried to keep life as normal and comfortable as possible for her daughters during their stays at the Ronald McDonald House of Gainesville. They mostly spend their time having fun and relaxing, but Harmony and Serenity also like to lend a hand to the staff and volunteers whenever possible.

“We spend our time at the Ronald McDonald House playing games, watching movies, painting our nails or just resting,” Tanya said.

Harmony is responding positively to her treatment and the family is doing well overall. Tanya is grateful to have the Ronald McDonald House of Gainesville and feels truly comfortable and at home there. She wants to remind those with children in treatment that they are never alone.

“No matter what your situation may be or what you’re going through others are going through it as well,” Tanya said. “Remember to have faith and always pray because you’re not alone. There is someone there with listening ears and kinds words.”

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