Meet one of the 2021 Top Fundraising Teams - Declan's Avengers!


Lyndsey Leehan shares her story about what has motivated her and her family to become champions for the Ronald McDonald House.


Why do we fundraise?

In November of 2016, our son, Declan, was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer. We are not from around the Minneapolis area and were headed for an intense 1 year long treatment for Declan's cancer. Our social worker put us in touch with the Ronald McDonald House and we were provided with a place to stay while Declan was receiving his treatment - a place to call home. We did not know much about the Ronald McDonald House at the time, but it soon became our home-away-from-home. Drew and I took turns being with Declan as we were both still working full time and had our 2 daughters to take care of at home as well. I had the weekday shift and Drew had the weekend shift. For the first 3 months we pretty much kept to ourselves because Declan was in the hospital receiving chemotherapy for 1 1/2 weeks at a time. I will never forget the day my now very good friend and I met. It was at the Valentine's Day dinner and Brooke and her mother-in-law, Lisa, invited me to sit with them while Declan was with the other kids. After that day, we spent a lot of time with Brooke and Lisa and were introduced to other lifelong friends Casey and Brian, Bettsy and Dempsey, and several Ronald McDonald House staff. I will forever be grateful for the community, support, conversation, and love that was provided by the Ronald McDonald House. It became a place where we were able to be be together as a family when we could all be in one place.


How are we successful?


Every year my mom (Rachel), sisters (Erin and Bethany), and I have a rummage sale where all proceeds are donated to the Ronald McDonald House. We take the funds and divide it equally between all the members on our team. (Apparently we have too much stuff if we can have a rummage sale every year!) Every year on Declan's birthday, June 25th, I have a fundraiser where all proceeds are donated to the Ronald McDonald House through the walk. We get our daughters, Teagan and McKenzie, involved as well. They have a lemonade stand at our local hardware store every year in memory of Declan and the money is donated to the Ronald McDonald House through the walk.

Declan is remembered and loved by so many and this yearly fundraiser helps keep his memory alive. We have a very supportive community of friends and neighbors. I think we are successful because we do a variety of different fundraisers and don't just stick to one particular one. We have our tried and true choices but have tried a Tupperware fundraiser (to get the house kitchen supplies and gadgets that were needed) that was successful as well. Continuing to talk about the Ronald McDonald House and how much it meant to our family, and other families, helps to rally people around giving.