Community, family donates $13k to Ronald McDonald House

National News

“It’s always amazing to see people supporting the Ronald McDonald House, but when a family who has been impacted then goes and does something special to support the families at the Ronald McDonald House, that’s just a whole other level,” said RMH’s Ryan Wilkins. “Us here, we get to experience a lot of really cool things, but this won, in particular, was pretty special. Paige did some fantastic stuff obviously.”

Paige Vehrs is a nine-year-old from Wyandot County who auctioned off her 4-H calf and donated the proceeds to RMH here in Columbus. Her reason was because of her cousin Knox. He was born with a number of health issues and lived at RMH for his first 423 days of his life. His family recently took him home for the first time.

“For them to take such an extra effort to give back to the house to support more families just like them, that’s what this place is all about,” emphasized Wilkins.

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Paige’s family contributed to the cause and the community also donated money. The total came to $13,000. The donation is the Vehrs family’s way of saying thank you for supporting Knox.

“It’s amazing she has a heart like that,” Jennifer Heffern about Paige.

Heffren brought her daughter eight-year-old daughter Hayden from Saint Louis, Mo., for treatment. They have been here for the past 10 days.

“Hayden has a pretty complex medical condition and she’s had about 12 surgeries since she was born and that requires lifetime care,” said her mom Jen Heffren. “When you can come to a place that is so affordable but also you’re not isolated. Your kids are with other people. You are with other parents who understand what it’s like to be a medical parent.”

Heffren and Hayden head home today. Hayden is ready to get back to her life.

“Baking cookies and like I have a winter concert Friday at school,” said Hayden.

The elementary student was focused on getting her life back to normal. Attending classes, visiting her family, and participating in the winter pageant.

“We’ll get to see a movie on Thursday night, and I’m real excited to be there for it,” explained Hayden. “Also, I’m going to see my second cousins today.”

The young lady has a lot packed into her schedule. She has a solo in the winter concert and she couldn’t help but sing an entire song from the event. You can tell she had been practicing. The song is a mix of the 12 Days of Christmas and some humor scattered about to make you think the kids are messing up with the number. 

The Heffrens did not get the chance to see the Vehrs family but said they are grateful for what Paige did to help all the families here in Columbus.

“We love when people get to go home. We miss them because they become part of our family here at the House,” said Wilkins. “We want them at home. We want those kids to be healthy. We want them to be able to celebrate Christmas at home.”

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