AUSTIN (KXAN) — The 9th annual Lights of Love is this weekend. The event raises money for families of sick children staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Central Texas.
One of the families joined us in the KXAN studio to talk about how you can help. Penney Berryman and 1-year-old Amond shared their story.
Amond was born seven weeks early while Berryman was out of town. He immediately needed neonatal care and was transferred to the Dell Children’s Hospital.
“The Ronald McDonald house provided a room for parents and right outside of the [neonatal intensive care unit], so my husband and I could meet up for lunch,” said Berryman.
The family lounge is a place for parents of children in intensive care to come and relax. There is even food delivered to the lounge for the families.
“The intensity and the joys and the anxiety happen simultaneously and then to be able to step outside of the [neonatal intensive care unit] for just a moment and breathe, to have a cup of coffee, to just take a minute away,” said Berryman.
The mother said while her story has a happy ending a lot of the families there are dealing with losses. “One of the sad things about being in the [neonatal intensive care unit] is there are losses as well and so the Ronald McDonald House charities also provide the opportunities to remember people,” said Berryman.
At the Lights of Love event people can donate, online or in person. They can also purchase a light for $20 to honor loved ones and to support sick children. The family friendly event will also offer the chance to walk around Mueller Lake, meet Santa, and do some crafts. There is also going to be snow and a snow slide!
Amond is doing really well now and Berryman says they are so thankful for they help they received. “It’s wonderful to be able to talk about the power of having someone take care of you as a parent when you’re so worried and caught up in taking care of your child,” said Berryman.
Lights of Love is Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Historic Mueller Hangar. Prices range from $20 to $30.