Ryder loved the 2014 Red Shoe Shuffle so much, that he created his own dance for it! He called it the “Ryder Shuffle” and even taught it to Shuffle participants on race morning! Go Ryder!
Ryder suffered a Stroke in Utero and was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy just before his 1st Birthday. We had no clue what his future would look like… would he walk, talk, jump, play? He is now 8 years old and to say he can do all of those things is an understatement. Through years of therapy and various procedures he has overcome many battles and continues to amaze us daily. We felt so blessed to be a part of the Red Shoe Shuffle – what an amazing event!!! The Ronald McDonald House and the entire Community makes the families feel so special and so loved, we are forever grateful for this charity and what it means to us! – Brandy, Ryder’s mom
Since 2014, Ryder and his family have been back for every Shuffle. Ryder considers RMH a vacation! Last time he visited he told team RMH that he stayed at a 5 star hotel and RMH is still his favorite place to stay!
Rakeem from Mississippi came to RMHC Maryland to stay while receiving treatments for a spinal cord injury at Kennedy Krieger Institute. At age 18, Rakeem was rendered paralyzed from the neck down as the result of a drunk driver. At age 21, Rakeem was able to participate in the 2014 Red Shoe Shuffle, controlling his chair by using just the motions of his head. An entire 5k using just your head? Now that’s what we call a McMiracle! Since 2014, Rakeem has returned to RMHCMD to join us for the Shuffle every year, still controlling his chair with the motions of his head!
We are overwhelmed with the amazing spirits here at the Ronald McDonald House. The ability to participate in the Red Shoe Shuffle after this injury made my heart feel a new beat. I had so much fun and even won 1st place in motorized wheelchair! It’s so wonderful that sponsors like Athletes Serving Athletes were there to help partner me through the entire race all the way to the finish line. Thank you for one of the most memorable days since my accident. – Rakeem
Julie & Abby
7 year old Abby has participated in every single Shuffle except for one. Her team, The Joy Runners has always been one of the top fundraising teams for the Shuffle. Here is what Julie, Abby’s mother said after their first Red Shoe Shuffle:
I’m sitting here with my laptop as my daughter sleeps, trying to put into words what The Red Shoe Shuffle meant to me.
You see, for us, it wasn’t just a 5K to raise money for a great charity. Being there, standing outside of the House that we lived in for so long, walking on streets that I could drive through with my eyes closed, listening to over 1,000 people cheering for the RMH kids that were too sick to come outside the house, watching my brave young friend Brooke sound the starting gun, holding my daughter’s hand to help her walk over the finish line…this is so much more than a 5K.
It isn’t about feeling sorry for sick kids who are away from their homes. It wasn’t gloom and doom and sad faces. It was a celebration of life!
This is hope. This is faith. This is love.
My heart was bursting at the thought of so many people wanting to show love to The House That Love Built. The signs along the course reminded us of the reason we were doing this. RMH families got “We Are Family” stickers to wear so that people could put faces with the cause. Volunteers, police officers, fireman, high school teams, and mascots cheered us on along the way.
If you had told me in late October of 2010 that our entire family would be participating in a 5K to benefit the Ronald McDonald House, I would have tearfully told you that you were crazy. If you had told me that Abby would walk across the finish line holding my hand, I probably would have had you committed! But we did, and she did!
Thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you!!
Ethan’s family stayed at RMHCMD for 5 months back in 2008 when Ethan was born 16 weeks early. He is now going on 10 years old, and doing great! His family has participated in the Red Shoe Shuffle since 2015. Here is a message from Ethan’s mom, Jenny:
The Ronald McDonald House means SO much to my family! Ethan was very critical for a very longtime. I needed to be there with him. I was so afraid to leave his side. The House was walking distance to the hospital. We only had one vehicle at the time and when my husband had to go back to work, I was able to walk to the hospital every morning to be with Ethan. I’d spend the day there just staring at him, taking in every single detail. When he became more stable, I’d spend every day rocking him, all day! I would walk back to the House at dinner, eat, shower and head back over to the hospital for his bedtime routine. I was able to be his mommy! As much as I could! If it weren’t for the house, I’d never of been able to do that!
The Red Shoe Shuffle is important to our family because we know firsthand how important this House is to families. How amazing it is, and we want to make others aware and to raise money for such an amazing place! Although with CP, he could never do the whole walk, we bring his wagon and decorate it, and he walks a little, and rides a little! My favorite memory from the RSS was when we’d pull Ethan in his wagon, he’d put his little hand out and the lines of people we’d walk past would all give him high fives. It made him feel so special!
A message from Bristol’s mom, Brittany:
This is our second HOME. This house has done more for our family than we could ever even attempt to put into words. Not only just having a place to stay close to the hospital but the people here have become our family. They lift you up when you need it, cry with you, pray with you, and are ALWAYS ready to help in any way they can. We are at HOME here.
We started attending in the Red Shoe Shuffle 2015 and haven’t missed one since! It helps us not feel alone in our journey. All RMH families are dealing with different medical issues but we are all walking the same journey with our children and families. It helps knowing there are other families going through the same thing you are and also that there are hundreds of people who aren’t even effected by medical issues that are standing beside you supporting you by helping raise money for the home that helps ours family so much.
My favorite memory of the Shuffle has been watching our daughter who had been through 5 body casts and two rounds of traction the year prior WALK across the finish line! We were told it could be a LONG time before she learned to walk after all she had gone through but one year later our daughter WALKED across that finish line right into her daddy’s arms.
We just want to say thank you. Thank you for making our family feel so uplifted every year. Thank you for giving us a place to be free to talk about our differences and how amazing our kiddos are. Thank you for giving our family a HOME to come to when we have to go through some of the toughest times of our life. We are forever indebted to this amazing House That Love Built.
Kate & Christine
Kate is a 16 year old from upstate New York. When she was 4, her mother was told they would have to amputate her leg. Her mother refused to accept this and 10 years later, months and years in a wheelchair, multiple surgeries and therapies at the Rubin Institute, and countless stays at the Maryland Ronald McDonald House, Kate ran her first 5k at the 2012 Red Shoe Shuffle.
I just ran a 5k.
I didn’t stop to sit down.
I crossed the finish line, and I wasn’t last.
I feel terrific.
(-double fist pump- I am the master commander. It’s me.)
– Kate, 16 years old
Melissa for Malachi
Melissa lost her son Malachi in October of 2012. Malachi was in and out of the Johns Hopkins PICU since he was an infant. He never stayed at the House because he was always inpatient, but Melissa was here so much that she is part of our family. In 2012, she walked the entire Shuffle in her red high heels and, afterwards, she took Malachi a finisher’s medal in the hospital. In 2013, Melissa walked the entire Shuffle in her red high heels again in memory of her son.
I did it! I walked the entire 5k walk/run red shoe shuffle in my high heels. I did it for Malachi to honor his strength and his unbelievable will to live. It was very heartwarming all the people there to walk and run for all the families of the Ronald McDonald House.
Nine year old Erin was born a conjoined twin her sister Jade. After being separated in 2004, their parents noticed that Erin was not moving her legs. After undergoing an MRI on her brain and spine, doctors discovered she had a spinal cord injury, which happened during surgery. Erin works extremely hard at therapy, both at home and at therapy centers in order to regain as much function as she possibly can. Erin spent most of the 2013 Red Shoe Shuffle wheeling through the 5k in her chair, but stood up as she approached the end, and with the help of her friends and family, walked across the finish line!