The history of Ronald McDonald House nationally and our Ronald McDonald House of Mobile are both the story of what one motivated, determined person can do. For all Ronald McDonald Houses that person was professional football player, Fred Hill of the Philadelphia Eagles whose daughter had leukemia. After many nights of sleeping in hospital waiting rooms and eating vending machine food he thought there had to be a better way for families with children in the hospital. He approached the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles and together they approached McDonalds to build the first Ronald McDonald House in 1974 in Philadelphia.
Here in Mobile, the one person who got our House started was Gray Zimlich. Her son, Day had a brain tumor when he was 10 years old and they stayed in the Ronald McDonald House in Boston while he was receiving treatment. On the way home, Day told his mother Mobile needed a Ronald McDonald House and she promised him she would make it happen and she did. Our House took in our first family in February 2000. We have the distinction of being the first new House of the new millennium. Originally Ronald McDonald House of Mobile could accomodate up to 12 families but now after an expansion completed in May of 2011 our House can house up to 38 families of hospitalized children.