Meet The Economy Family

When Mark and Jennifer Economy’s 10-year old daughter, Josie, was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of Cancer, their world was turned upside down. They felt like their life was in a freefall. While Josie spent several weeks at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU undergoing treatment, Mark and Jennifer wanted to be by Josie’s bedside 24 hours a day to care for her and be available to talk to her doctors.

The Economy family learned of the Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Richmond and the services offered in the hospital from our dedicated in-hospital staff member and Family Room Manager, Dayna Cobb. She let them know that meals were available for them in the Ronald McDonald Family Room® and encouraged them to use the sleep rooms to rest. Some days, they didn’t know what day it was, but Dayna would find them, check on them and remind them there were sandwiches or hot coffee in the Family Room. It was a relief for the Economy family to have meals waiting for them nearby so they didn’t have to think about leaving the pediatric unit to find something to eat. Mark and Jennifer found comfort in using the sleep rooms to take a break, relax and get away from the intensity of it all, while still remaining close to Josie’s bedside.

In December of 2019, Dayna included the family in an RMHC Richmond hosted Holiday Brunch event held for families of children in the pediatric units at the hospital. Josie had become an ambassador for Quilts for Kids, an organization that gives away donated quilts to comfort hospitalized children. The entire family, including her brother Max, took part in the event, setting up a station of quilts to give away to children confined to the hospital for the season and to spread holiday cheer to the families in attendance. The Economy family felt so fortunate to be a part of the event and Josie, with her bubbly personality, brought smiles to all the children’s faces.

After experiencing first-hand the impact RMHC Richmond makes in the hospital by providing family-centered care and knowing the need is great, The Economy Family said it was easy for them to want to give back. Even now, Mark told us, “I can’t drive through a McDonald’s without putting something in that donation box.” Just the simple task of donating at the drive through or asking to round-up at McDonald’s can make such a difference in the lives of families served by RMHC Richmond.

Stay tuned for another story about a teen whose kindness has made an impact on families served by RMHC Richmond by making them feel warm and comforted while their children receive medical care in local area hospitals.