Sage Studio

Join Sage Oak Charter School in Supporting the Ronald McDonald Walk for Life

May 08, 2023 Sage Oak Charter Schools Episode 25
Sage Studio
Join Sage Oak Charter School in Supporting the Ronald McDonald Walk for Life
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode,  Sage Oak teacher, Brittany Quadai, shares her story as a beneficiary of the Ronald McDonald House while her infant son received medical care, how she is giving back, and how our Sage Oak community can participate in the upcoming Ronald McDonald Walk for Life.

Sign up here: Ronald McDonald Walk for Life

Thank you for listening to the Sage Studio podcast presented by Sage Oak Charter Schools and hosted by Tiffiny Webster, M.A.Ed. We invite you to follow the show and leave your review below. Sage Oak Charter Schools is an independent study nonclassroom based TK-12 personalized learning public charter school serving students in Southern California. Visit for more information.

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Today's episode is a special one. We are talking with one of our own Sage Oak teachers, Britney Quadai, who's opening up and sharing her story about her infant son that was hospitalized, and how the Ronald McDonald House really helped support her during that really difficult time. We're also talking about how Sage Oak Charter School has gotten involved in the Ronald McDonald Walk for Kids, and how this is a really important charity that is near and dear to our hearts, and also helps to meet one of our core values of service. If you want to know how you can get involved in the Ronald McDonald Walk, stay tuned for this episode. We'll go over all of the details. It's a good one. Welcome to another episode of the Sage Studio. Today I am joined with Jen Gibson. Jen is our Assistant Director of Curriculum and Instruction here at Sage Oak, and today she's telling us all about something that is a special cause that Sage Oak is involved in. We're gonna hear all about the Ronald McDonald's Walk for kids, and I'm so excited to bring this to our listeners, Jen, and let them know about this amazing cause that Sage Oak is a part of. So thanks so much for being here today. Absolutely. I'm happy to be here. So tell us a little bit about this. What is the Ronald McDonald Walk for Kids? So, the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California, they put on a, 5k called the Walk for Kids. They do this yearly. Sage Oak has been a part of it since 2019. So this is going on our fifth year of participating with the Ronald McDonald Walk for Kids. It's a charity that really focuses on those kids and families that need support while their kiddos are getting medical treatment. It's so incredible think that's what I think of it as is that when you have a child that's receiving some really intense medical care and you want to stay nearby the hospital, that's where the Ronald McDonald House really comes in. It's providing that housing to families while they have a child that's receiving medical care. Is that right? Exactly. And at no cost to the families. You briefly touched on the fact that we've actually had some of our own Sage Oak staff members be recipients of this, when they themselves were experiencing a medical situation with their kids. And we actually are gonna be talking with one of our teachers following up this little introduction. So we can hear her story and really hear how she was impacted by this. And I'm so grateful that Britney is willing to share her story with us. It sounds like a really great cause. On that note, who does participate in this event? Is it just for teachers? Is it for parents? Can students get involved? One of our Sage Oak's core values and even one of our student learning outcomes is service. And so this is an opportunity that we're offering up to not only teachers, staff but students and families as well. We really want this to be a way for the Sage Oak community to give back to our local communities. We have teachers signed up to join us. We have classified staff, support staff signed up. Oh, great. Okay. So tell me a little bit more if parents or students want to sign up to participate. I believe that we have one more walk coming up in June, is that right? That's right. Sunday, June 4th, and that's in Long Beach. And that's at Shoreline Park. Right now we have over 10 participants signed up, 10 Sage Oak team members signed up. So every week we push out our Sage News, and so in the Sage News, parents can click on a link that will take them directly to the Sage Oak team. So have an education advisor who is the team leader, Drew Steinhouse, and he created a Sage Oak team. That link in the Sage news takes you right to his page and then you can sign up directly from his page. So, there is a $25 registration fee for adults. Kiddos 17 and under are free. So they can participate, but , you still want to register them then that just adds to our Sage Oak team. So, it's a really easy process. I did it when I signed up. Probably took about 10 minutes for me to, to go through the process and hit submit. That is so awesome. Okay, so we'll let parents know. You can find the link in Sage News. Go ahead and click on the link. It'll take you to the registration page.$25 per parents. Students 17 and under are free. The money supports the charity directly and what a great cause. Sunday, June 4th in Long Beach at Shoreline Park. If students and parents want to participate, and again, I love how you tied it in with our Sage Oak core values and student learning outcomes. So incredible. Thank you so much, Jen, for being on the podcast today and sharing this incredible opportunity. We are so proud to be a part of this. And I know that there are a lot of parents and students who would love to be part of this charity, and I'm so glad you are bringing this to our Sage Oak community. So thank you so much. Thank you for having me. All right. Talk to you soon. Stay tuned because coming up we'll be talking with Britney, who will be sharing her own personal story about how her family benefited from the Ronald McDonald House when her son was facing a medical crisis. So thank you so much. So Britney, thank you so much for coming on the podcast today to share your story with us. Thank you for inviting me. We really appreciate it. It's such a great cause, and I know so many of our families want to know more about the cause, about the charity. So, we would love to hear a little bit more about your story and how you even came to know the Ronald McDonald House and, and become part of this. So when I had my son, he had a very low hemoglobin of 4.6 and he was given a blood transfusion. But a month later we realized that the blood transfusion didn't take, and we were hospitalized back at Rady's in San Diego and across from the hospital is a Ronald McDonald House. And during that time, cuz we stay at the hospital for about a week. During that time, we were able to go over to the Ronald McDonald House and they served us meals and they gave us little gifts. It was, it was Christmas time, they gave us. Little ornaments for Adonis and just newspapers and just basically just fill us with love and lifted our spirits during a time where it was really scary and we didn't know what was happening with our son. So there you are. You have just had this baby. He's only a month. And you end up back in the NICU down at Rady's? Yes. Did you know right away when you went in that it was going to be an extended amount of time? No, we didn't. So the doctor wanted us to continue to check his hemoglobin since he was born with a low hemoglobin. And we thought the blood transfusion at birth was enough, and we realized that he actually has a rare blood disorder. And so it didn't take, so then when we went to Rady's we did not expect to spend a week there. We thought, okay, they're just gonna check his blood again and we're gonna go home. So they ended up checking his blood and it was so low that he needed another transfusion. But they didn't wanna give him a transfusion right away because they couldn't get a line. So they tried like 10, 20 times poking him. And so it took us about a week to get a line surgically inserted. And then they were able to give him a blood transfusion. But they, during that time, they were amazing. They checked genetics, they checked his bone, he had a bone marrow biopsy. And it was just a very long week. So having Ronald McDonald across the street with lots of love and smiling faces and volunteers, so it was really nice to have Ronald McDonald offer the free meals across the street for myself and my husband and just giving us something to just a little ease after all the craziness that we had with Adonis that week, it was pretty insane. I bet. I mean, it must have just been. So stressful. Not only going through all of that process with him, but just knowing that you know, as a new mom that you can't be right there with him every step of the way. Right. And so, I mean, this is really like the next best thing. If you can't be there for every moment side by side with him in the hospital, at least you're just, across the way. Right. Right now. That is so amazing. That sounds like an incredible place that you were able to just recoup and get a little bit of rest yourself. Right. I'm sure it was emotionally exhausting as much as it was physically exhausting for you. Definitely. It was very emotionally exhausting because we didn't know why when, and all the doctors couldn't understand why like the, it was just so new to them. Like, why is this, does this baby have such a low hemoglobin? Okay, so after that week that you were there and you're going through all of these different medical procedures and fortunately you have the support of the Ronald McDonald House to, to help you get through that time. What was it like when you returned home? It was also little scary because they ended up putting a PICC line in him so that we didn't have to continue to try and poke him to get blood, cuz we needed to go back every week for him to give blood to make sure his hemoglobin wasn't dropping again. So, they ended up surgically inserting a PICC line, and that was tough because you have to flush it every six hours. Wow. And even if he sleep, I had to wake him up in between his little naps and flush PICC line, make sure that I didn't get any blood clots. And again, this is his first month of life and No, he kidding. He's my first. He's my first. So it was, wow. It was pretty wild ride. That first month was, wow. That is really incredible. How's he doing today? He's doing good. He's doing a lot better. His hemoglobin has been steady for about a month. Right now his red blood cells are still small, so we're still trying to figure out what kind of disorder we've ruled out. Cancer we've ruled out Sickle cell. The major blood disorders have been ruled out by genetic testing in, which has been amazing through Rady's. Rady's is amazing. But right now we're just going back to the drawing board again and just seeing, did we miss anything? So we're trying to figure it out at this point. Okay, so here you are. You had this personal story. You've gone through all of this and then you see that Sage Oak sends out this signup for anyone who wants to be part of the Ronald McDonald Walk for Kids event. And what did you think to yourself? I was so excited. I was like, oh my gosh, this is my chance to give back to something that. Lifted my spirit so much in such a scary time. And I was like, I live in San Diego, but there wasn't one for San Diego, there's one for Pasadena, which is what, about two and a half hours from here? And I'm like, I don't mind. We're going, we're getting up early. We're gonna be in Pasadena, we're gonna support this cause. So I was super excited and that it was still available and I had the opportunity to give back to something that just helped us so much. That is so great. And have you found other moms with similar stories of yours when you've gone to these events? So I have, so, because we don't have a name phrase his disorder, there's a group for moms with children with rare blood disorders. Ooh. And it's kinda interesting cause we all bond on the fact that there's no diagnosis. All of our children have rare blood disorders that aren't diagnosed. So we just kind of talk and spend time just. Just being on the same page. Our kids have a disorder that we don't, we don't know what it is, but we can bond on that fact and just kind of encourage each other. How great too,, that out of this, you've also found this other community of moms and families that want to support one another with kids that are going through the same thing. So that's so awesome that not only is your son getting the medical attention and the support that he needs, but you and your husband are also getting the support as a family from other families feeling the same thing. That's amazing. Right. It is. If parents happen to be in the same situation that you were with your child, or you know, their child may be experiencing some other sort of medical cause and they feel like they could benefit from the Ronald McDonald House, how would they go about getting those benefits? So the first thing you wanna do is ask the hospital that you're staying at, where is the closest Ronald McDonald's house? They will direct you to it. Nine times outta 10. The Ronald McDonald's house is right near the hospital because they wanna keep the families close. But that's the best way to heal a child, is making sure their parents are able to be near them. So just if you're in the situation, you've had a baby or you have a child, ask, do you have a Ronald McDonald's house? And then they'll give you a wristband or whatever items that you need, and you can use the Ronald McDonald's house throughout your stay. It should take away a lot of the stress that you have from being in that unexpected situation. That is so awesome, and I know that you know firsthand how great of a resource that was, but I also know sometimes it's really hard to accept help. Do you ever find parents that you know could benefit from the Ronald McDonald House, but they're just a little bit nervous about asking for their help and they feel like, no, no, no. I don't wanna use that. I'll let somebody else use that. How would you kind of address that, that parent? Just note that they're there for you and they have lots of events and lots of great volunteers like us who are going to the walk to raise funds to give you all those items. And there's lots of people helping provide all the things that they're giving you the gifts. Sometimes they have like, people in the old folks home knit the blankets for you lots of volunteers and lots of donations to just help you through that time. A lot of people wanna help, but they don't know anyone directly, so they help through an organization, so that's why that organization is there so that they can help you in your time of need. Love that because honestly, like sometimes you just feel like, oh gosh, I don't wanna take advantage of those resources. Like I'll leave someone else to do it. Or I don't wanna put anybody, and you know, out at all. But you made such a great point that actually there are tons of people in the community who want to help. They want to give their gifts, they want to give their time. And so really they need a recipient. So if it's something that someone does need to take advantage of, they are actually being part of a bigger community by kind of receiving some of the gifts, some of the time, some of the care that others wanna give. So I love that you shared that with us. Right. Thank you so much, Britney, for sharing your story. It's so sweet and I'm so glad to hear that your son is doing well. We really do wish you and your family all the best and I'm really thrilled that our school is a part of this and we get a chance to invite more and more of our community to be a part of it too. So, Thank you so much. We wish you all the best. Thank you.