On a warm and sunny day in Orlando, FL on August 16, 2018, Yoli-AAFH President and George-AAFH Vice President had the pleasure of meeting with Gunner Zickefoose, Gunner’s Mom, Marla, and the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) Manager, Sierra Reed. The reason for our visit was to deliver Gunner’s gift request of an electric guitar and a variety of Alyssa starter art kits (SAKs) to the RMH.
Upon arriving at the RMH across from the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, we were warmly greeted by Sierra. She expressed her gratitude on behalf of the RMH for the Alyssa SAKs being delivered for the benefit of all the children and families staying at the RMH. We spent a few moments discussing the AAFH’s mission and our intention to build a relationship with this RMH location.
Shortly afterward, Gunner and his Mom walked into the RMH and we exchanged greetings. Gunner had just completed a medical procedure at the Arnold Palmer Hospital before coming to the RMH to meet us. Gunner is an 11-year-old from Titusville, FL who was originally diagnosed with leukemia 4 years ago, but unfortunately relapsed in June 2018. Gunner plays the bass guitar at school however due to his relapse will be home schooled for the coming school year. Now that Gunner will have an electric guitar at his home he will be able to continue his love of playing music. As any typical boy of his age, Gunner also loves playing video games on his Xbox One and playing with Legos.
It was very gratifying to see Gunner’s expression and happy demeanor when he realized we were there with his Fender Stratocaster electric guitar and amp. Marla told us she had not told Gunner why they were stopping at the RMH since she wanted to surprise him. It worked!
This is one delivery we will always recall warmly for being able to meet with Gunner and to see the joyful difference we made in his life that day. We wish Gunner and Marla hope and strength to help them overcome this terrible illness. Our prayers are with them.