The Dynamic Duo
Four-year old Leeland Shope and his grandfather, Robert Wall, are inseparable. So, when the youngster from Pahrump, Nevada, was diagnosed with Cancer, it was his Papa who brought him to Las Vegas for treatment and to stay at the Ronald McDonald House. And when the chemotherapy caused little Leeland's hair to fall out, it was Papa who shaved his own head so that the two would look just like each other. This "dynamic duo" became familiar faces around the Ronald McDonald House during the time they stayed here during the last months of 2011 and the first months of 2012. Papa always offered to lend a hand to help the other families and staff around the House. And despite everything that Leeland endured during his many months of treatment, this happy little boy always had a smile on his face as he ran to hug his new friends at the House every morning and evening.
Our staff became so enamored with Leeland and Papa that when Cox Charities decided to honor the Ronald McDonald House during a recent special event, we knew they would be the perfect pair to introduce to the community and have share their story about staying at the Ronald McDonald House. Little Leeland was so brave when he went up on stage in his Papa's arms in front of more than 500 people! He showed everyone his "secret handshake" and blew a kiss to the audience as he shouted, "Thank you!" He stole the hearts of the crowd that day just as he captured the hearts of all of us here at the Ronald McDonald House. We are so happy to share that Leeland's chemotherapy is now over and he is in remission.
He and Papa have checked out of the Ronald McDonald House but come back to visit us a couple of times a month. And though we were sad to see them go after spending so much time together, we are all glad to know that Leeland is on the road to recovery, and his Papa will be there by his side every step of the way. Because that is what the Ronald McDonald House is all about – keeping families strong by keeping them together!