Ruth Browne, president and CEO of Ronald McDonald House inNew York City, said Wednesday that there's good news to report in the battle againstcancer and highlighted the organization's "September Step Up" challenge, which is geared toward raising funds for patient care.
“It really speaks to how the single act of establishing these houses and now a network that is known worldwide -- it raises the awareness around pediatric illness," Browne told Fox News during a phone interview. "Our house is one of two houses through the system, that has been solely dedicated to childhood cancer. It’s so important because there is so much good news to report about cancer.
"15 years ago, that was not the case," she continued. "And now the tables have turned. The majority of the families that come here leave with a good story. And still, many families do not. We will not stop until this is not the devastating diagnosis that so many families have experienced.”
Browne, who served for 12 years as CEO of the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health (AAIUH), said the coronavirus presented certain challenges, but that the houses remained open for patients and their loved ones. The house she oversees in New York can accommodate 95 families at a time and provides vital essentials needed to survive the oftentimes demanding rigors of medical treatments.
“We are part of a network of 350 plus houses around the world. There are about 186 in the United States -- and the New York house is one of three houses in the metropolitan area," she added. “The ‘Step Up Challenge’ is an opportunity to raise funds and awareness. We have over 150 people who have already signed up to help."
Browne said only part of a patient's overall well-being has to do with their medical care. The other parts of the equation are what the Ronald McDonald houses attempt to focus on and satisfy.
“They say that about 20 percent of someone’s health and healing is really determined by the clinical care that they get – and that 80 percent is really everything else," she continued. "The advantage of the Ronald McDonald house is we are working on the other 80 percent. It’s about how you’re going to get to and from your treatments. Where you’re going to stay while you’re having treatments, how you're’ going to feed yourself and your family. All of those things we have an answer to."