40 From Our 40: Shirley Weesner
Shirley Weesner learned of the Ronald McDonald House in 1985, when her 15-year-old daughter, Sherry, was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Sherry’s doctor told the Cambridge City, Indiana family about the House and helped them get a room. Sherry’s treatments did not always require her to stay at Riley Children’s Health full-time, and she spent many nights with her mom, where she fell in love with the House and its volunteers.
Shirley loved to cook, and one day former House Director Lona Damron asked if she would like to cook occasionally for the families. For several years, Shirley and Sherry would travel the one-hour trip from their Wayne County home to cook one or two Saturdays a month for the families and the volunteers. They also participated in activities to raise funds for the House, including making and selling t-shirts, bracelets, dolls, baskets, and other craft items at various craft fairs and other events around central and eastern Indiana.
Shirley says the House is special to her because it is a home away from home where they were welcomed and made comfortable. Shirley says that she and Sherry made lots of friends while staying there and Sherry was always more comfortable when she could stay at the House and not in the hospital.