Georgia girl Ryleigh Williams will be spending her birthday in treatment and has asked for birthday cards.
Georgia elementary school student Ryleigh Williams, who has been battling cancer since the age of 6, has asked for birthday cards for her 11th birthday. Ryleigh was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 6, and went into remission for a while, before discovering that the cancer was back in May 2018. The almost-11-year-old's mother, Staci Williams, told WGXA that the child has been in the hospital for treatments since August 12, and will remain there until after thanksgiving. After a recent bone marrow transplant, she has been discharged to the Ronald McDonald House in Atlanta as she continues to recover.
Ryliegh's cancer journey is being documented on a Facebook page so that her friends and well-wishers can keep track of her journey. Her wish for birthday cards also caught the attention of baseball legend Hank Aaron, formerly of the America Braves, who made a generous donation to the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House in honor of Ryleigh's birthday. A relative shared the news on Facebook, and Ryleigh was presented with the cheque earlier this week.
Most kinds of leukemia in children tend to be acute, meaning that the disease spreads rapidly. While the exact cause of leukemia remains unknown, risk factors for the disease in children include having a sibling with the disease, exposure to high levels of radiation, and having an inherited condition that affects the immune system. The Ronald McDonald House Charities provides places for families to stay with their children who are receiving medical treatment in the region. While families availing of the service are asked to make a donation, the Houses do not turn away families who are unable to contribute. The first of the Houses was opened in Philadelphia in 1974, and there are currently 368 Ronald McDonald Houses in 64 countries and regions.
If you would like to send a card to Ryleigh for her birthday, you can do so at the following address:
Atlanta Ronald McDonald House
795 N. Gatewood Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30329