CINCINNATI — Imagine having to take your child out of town for medical treatment.
That might mean a hotel stay, adding to the overall cost. Or it could mean sleeping in a chair by a hospital bed for weeks on end.
That's where Ronald McDonald Houses around the globe come to the rescue.
In Cincinnati, the Ronald McDonald House, located right next to Children's Hospital, is expanding its mission in a big way; it's slated to soon become the largest in the world.
By next year, construction projects will expand the house, adding extra garage space, common areas and five levels of guest rooms.
Families like the Strohsacks are eager to see these improvements and how they will help children in the community.
"Alyssa was in excruciating pain," Janet Strohsack said. Her daughter's illness has brought them back to Cincinnati Children's for extended periods of time, but the trip is five and a half hours from their home. "There's times where she can't where clothes, and feels like it's on fire."
The Ronald McDonald house offers amenities that feel like home for families, while they stay away from their own. From a front door visitors can decorate, to laundry services, movie rentals and warm meals, it's a comfortable home away from home for families staying with their children.
But space has been limited.
"For years...we've turned away so many families," said Jen Goodin, CEO of Ronald McDonald House. "Last year more families than we served, and we're finally at a place where we can build a much larger house so we can say yes to those families when they need a room."
The expansion will allow more children and parents to benefit from the organization. With the expansion of 99 additional rooms, the Ronald McDonald House will be able to serve 177 families at one time -- up from 78.
Goodin said donations and volunteers help make it all possible.
"Just going above and beyond every day to help meet the family's needs and be there to love and support them so they can, in turn, love and support their kids through really scary times," she said.
Cincinnati's Ronald McDonald House has raised $46 of $50 million for the expansion project.
For more information, or to donate to the cause, visit their website.