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The Gunther Family

The Gunther Family
To see 9-year-old Mason play at Ronald McDonald House, you might not know he's sick. The only sign is the bandage on his neck covering a port that's used for dialysis three times each week.

Mason was diagnosed with kidney disease when he was just two years old. Since then, his health has been a challenge, requiring 100 days at the hospital over the past 18 months alone.

Mason lives near Holden Beach, NC, with his parents, Mike and Robin. Their commute to UNC Children’s Hospital is more than 3 hours each way. 

Ronald McDonald House became the family’s second home in the early days of Mason’s treatment. Recently he had both diseased kidneys removed, making regular dialysis trips mandatory.

Today sociable Mason is the self-described mayor of Ronald McDonald House, making daily rounds on a tricycle to visit his friends and fan club.

Robin shared, “Without the Ronald McDonald House, it would be somuch more difficult – I hate to even think about it. It’s not just a place to stay but meals and the shuttle to the hospital. All of it. Mike added, “It’s a community support system. Words can’t express the help its been to us and to other families.”

When asked what he’d like to share with RMH friends, Mason said, “Thanks for taking care of me, and my mom and dad.”

Watch a tour of the Ronald McDonald House with Mason here!

Just before Christmas 2023, Mason received the miracle of a life-saving kidney transplant. He was able to go home with his family for a holiday visit, and he expects to be released from treatment very soon.