Posted at: 10/30/2012 10:27 PM
Updated at: 10/30/2012 11:28 PM
By: Tom Joles, KOB Eyewitness News
Photo: Jesse Pride
Albuquerque's Ronald McDonald House is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. In that time, many families with hospitalized children - many from out of town - have stayed at the house.
Jesse Pride knows what a difference the house makes, as does his mother.
"In '82, Spinal Bifida, not a lot was known about it. I was born in Durango, but we lived in Aztec," Pride said.
Pride's mother was single and working, trying to make ends meet.
"All of a sudden, knowing you have to travel three hours away to get the treatment your child needs," Pride's mother said.
"We had to come to Albuquerque two or three times a month to get rehab, to get physical therapy. I've had over 50 operations," Pride said.
Many of those times, when Pride was in the hospital, his mother stayed at Albuquerque's Ronald McDonald House, as have a lot of other families.
Albuquerque's Ronald McDonald House has served 45,000 families in their 30 year history.
Tuesday, Pride was at the Ronald McDonald House with his mother next to him.
It was an open house, to recognize its 30 years of service.
Pride was there to stand up for a place that was there when his family and others have needed it the most.
Albuquerque's Ronald McDonald Hose started with eight rooms in 1982, then it expanded to 18.
Now, they have 30 rooms for families to stay in, and they're getting ready to open up a new Ronald McDonald "Family Room" inside Presbyterian Hospital.