It’s a ‘G’ Thing: Ronald McDonald House of L.I. keeps kids with serious illnesses smiling and playing

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It’s a game of good versus evil…Dylan against me! It's an escape to the make believe and a much-needed distraction for this 4-year-old.

Around Christmas time, he got pneumonia then he got sick like every two weeks,” Teresa Ma, Dylan's mother, remembered. "We went to the doctor and they thought he had a bacteria viral infection and then I finally after an open biopsy they found out he has Neuroblastoma.”

Cancer, stage 4, that has caused tumors all over his body.

"For about five months, it ate away his bones and it gave him little tiny fractures so he couldn’t walk or stand,” she described.

Dylan’s already undergone five cycles of treatment.

"They say he has a 50% chance of survival,” Ma said.

A number his parents, Teresa and Roger, try not to focus on, and that starts with a place that lets kids just be kids: The Ronald McDonald House of Long Island.

"How you feeling today?" I asked Dylan. "Good!” he replied.

It’s a home away from home for families with seriously ill children.

"When they come here, they’re happy," Matthew Campo, president of Ronald McDonald House of L.I., said. "This is sometimes the best part of a really difficult situation.”

For 30 years, the nonprofit has provided comfortable living, home cooked meals and support to more than 20,000 people.

"We are people who just want to do what’s best for our families,” he smiled.

One of the many ways the house helps, is through an animal therapy program.

“Put in the palm of your hand, there you go, good job!” Ellen Lockwood said to Dylan as he fed Rico, the therapy dog.

"What’s the benefit of Rico with the kids?" I asked her. "The kids are very scared when they’re first checked in, they’re going through tremendous medical crises but then they calm right down," she described.

An overwhelming sense of peace that seems to bring the best out of everyone.

“Rico's a big boy, let's give him another treat," Lockwood said to Dylan. "I’m a big boy too!" Dylan smiled.

From pets to playtime to protecting the world, it’s no surprise, Dylan, his parents and I’m lovin’ this place!

To donate to Dylan's medical treatments visit


Produced by: Kim Pestalozzi