Ronald McDonald House breaks ground on new home - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Ronald McDonald House breaks ground on new home

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AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -

We first introduced you to little Nicki Harper back in February 2012. Today the 3-year-old is helping the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta break ground on a new home.

Little Nicki was first treated at GRU's children's hospital when she had a stroke at just 2 weeks old. Since then, the family has made nearly 40 trips from Albany, always staying in the Ronald McDonald House on Greene Street; more than a mile and half away from the hospital.

"Parents who don't have vehicles, they're going to have to wait a good 30 to 45 minutes before someone can come to pick them up when something can happen, really bad, within that time frame," said Stephanie Oxley, Nicki's mother.

Georgia Regents Medical Center is cutting that time to a matter of seconds. GRU granted the non-profit a 60-year lease on property just 150 yards away from the children's hospital!

"It means that they can stay together during the critical illness; the very anxious time you have a sick child," said Betts Murdison, president and CEO of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta. "It means they don't have to worry about the everyday things. They can focus on the health of their child. We'll take care of everything else for them." 

The Ronald McDonald House welcomes more than 600 families every year; eliminating expenses, like gas or hotel fees, families would normally stress over, while their child is being treated.

"The Ronald McDonald family is our family," Oxley said. "They help us, they take care of us, and they listen to everything…I don't know what I would do without them."

Now with the new 28 bedroom building, they're ready to make a better home away from home for their residents.

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta is $1.5 million away from their goal. To donate click here: http://www.rmhcaugusta.org/

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