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Kalispell family finds 'home away from home' at Ronald McDonald House

By Rebecca Vogt, KCFW Reporter, rvogt@kcfw.com
Published On: Dec 22 2012 04:07:34 PM MST
Kalispell family finds 'home away from home' at Ronald McDonald House
KALISPELL, Mont. -

May 18th, 2012 is a day that forever changed the lives of Kathy and Ryan LeDuc. Their daughter, Gabby, was fighting a fever and they took her to the doctor to see what was wrong.

"He kept looking at her and saying she's pale. Well, she's sick," said Kathy.

Doctors ran some blood work and had their answer that day - Gabby was diagnosed with acute lymph node leukemia. With a low white blood cell count, treatment was to start right away.

"The doctor in Spokane looked at her labs and said she needs a LifeFlight," Kathy explained.

Gabby and Kathy were rushed to Sacred Heart Children's Hospital in Spokane and soon found themselves at the Ronald McDonald House. It's their home away from home where Gabby has made friends with many of the other kids staying there.

"I wish that she didn't have cancer but since I don't have that option I am so grateful that our community has come together and helped us," said Kathy. "And the Ronald McDonald House has been a lifesaver. I don't know where we would be at if we didn't have the Ronald McDonald House to stay at."

Kathy tells NBC Montana that her 6-year-old daughter loves to dance, something she hopes to do when she gets back to Kalispell.

"She misses all of her friends and she misses doing dance and going to school," Kathy said. "It'll be interesting coming back. We've been here eight months so we've kind of adjusted our lives here so we'll have to readjust when we get back home."

Gabby will enter the maintenance phase of her treatment and will likely be able to return to the Flathead sometime in February.