Siblings share so much. Nothing could be more true for Wilhelm and his baby sister, Lorelei.
Wilhelm first arrived at Ronald McDonald House in 2017 as an infant in need of heart surgery. He was the first child of Stephen and Julia Skakandy from Jacksonville, NC.
Stephen and Julia stayed at RMH during Wilhelm’s recovery from heart surgery. Then they returned home to their “normal” lives with their newly healed baby boy.
Fast forward three years, and Wilhelm was once again very sick. Finally, a rare genetic blood disease was diagnosed that explained both his early heart issues as well as new, life-threatening bone marrow insuffiency.
A bone marrow transplant was recommended. While it would not cure Wilhelm’s disease, it could address some of the more dangerous symptoms. The family needed just one thing: a donor.
In stepped Wilhelm’s little sister, Lorelei.
Like many RMH siblings, Lorelei gave her brother the gift of new life by donating her own bone marrow cells.
Wilhelm received his transplant in September, and the family checked out of RMH on November 6. They are now at home again in Jacksonville.
Wilhelm and Lorelei are together again for the holidays. The greater gift is that the siblings are connected for life.