Legacies and lemonade are unexpected and intertwined themes in a conversation with Grace Michaud and David Hiltunen. The Florence, Wis. couple lost their son in 2009, while staying at Ronald McDonald House in Milwaukee. “In our darkest hour, we made lemonade out of lemons,” they recall.
The tragedy inspired them to found an organization to support other families going through medical crises. They didn’t expect to find themselves at another hospital guest house more than a decade later. But David’s diagnosis of multiple myeloma made it a necessity to travel for care.
“What I think is good about Kathy’s House and Ronald McDonald House is that the last thing you need to worry about is how I’m going to pay for medical care that’s 25K a month, or to be away from my job, or how am I going to afford to go out of town,” Grace said. “There’s a lot of people with GoFundMe’s. It’s sad that people have to worry about paying to save their lives.”
The couple is grateful for the donors who contributed to the cost of their stay, and they eagerly anticipate the opportunity to “pay it forward” to future guests.