Editor’s note: WNCT is hosting the 7th annual Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern North Carolina Telethon on Friday. Reporter Sarah Gray Barr is bringing us stories of families who have benefitted from the love and support of the Ronald McDonald House in Greenville.


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — In 2012, Piper Wilhide was diagnosed with stage three neuroblastoma at just four weeks old.

“So essentially, I gave birth and then a few weeks later, she was sick with a big diagnosis,” said Piper’s mother, Haleigh Wilhide. “And then obviously, since that was cancer, that was like a huge ordeal. So, I was kind of taking care of Piper.

“The social workers and everyone introduced us to the Ronald McDonald House.”

So Haleigh, her dad Randy and her older sister, Conleigh, stayed at the Ronald McDonald House while Piper received care.

“I think there’s just like so much thrown at you,” Wilhide said. “At first when you get a diagnosis, especially when it’s your child especially when it’s cancer because it’s huge. So this was like the one piece that was like separate and then it was positive.”

Click the video above to find out more.


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Antoinette Everette found out she was pregnant with triplets, three boys due right after Thanksgiving.

During a visit to the doctor, she learned she had to go to the hospital. Since then, it’s been a struggle for her family. Fortunately, the Ronald McDonald House has been there for them.

“I was pregnant with triplets, Everette said. “Three boys in November, right after Thanksgiving. I went just for a checkup and I had a couple nurses come in the room and they said, ‘We’re thinking you have to go to the hospital.

“I had my first son at 19 weeks, and he didn’t make it. I had my second son at 21 weeks and he was stillborn, and I just had my third son at 23 weeks and he is still in the hospital right now.”

Everette lives 1.5 hours away so having a place she could stay and be with her baby was crucial. That’s where the Ronald McDonald House came into the picture.

“Driving back and forth was just not an option for me, so they told me about the Ronald McDonald House, so I’m here,” Everette said.

Click the video to learn more.


The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern North Carolina has been in operation for 36 years. Volunteer Paula Flythe has only been there for seven months. Still, she’s seen all the good the organization does.

“I’m really enjoying the experience and the opportunity to serve the families in our community,” Flythe said.

She works with the organization at ECU Health in the James and Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital.

“We serve the meals to the families; we also prepare little bags for our P-day children,” she said. “We help the families if they need assistance with laundry or making sure the environment is clean and welcoming and just a very nice place to have a bit of a respite from a very stressful time in their lives.”

This year marks 10 years since the two organizations began serving the community together.

“I ran across the Ronald McDonald House and thought, what a wonderful way that I could give love and compassion back to a community that I live in and that serves such a needed population,” Flythe said. “So I reached out to the Ronald McDonald House and they were kind enough to get me a little bit of training and put me right to work.”

Click the above video to see more of Flythe’s story and the work she does.


A brain bleed brought Kennedy Dean and her family to the hospital in Greenville and the Ronald McDonald House.

“Back in 2011, Kennedy experienced a brain bleed from an AVM, which is an arterial venous malformation. She was born with it. We didn’t know she had it till it ruptured on the playground,” said Kim Dean.

Kennedy was seven at the time.

“Ten days we stayed by her side, we didn’t leave her. And then we realized it was really time. We weren’t of course sleeping, you know? We decided that it was definitely time to look into getting a room here at the Ronald McDonald House, so we would be close to her,” Dean said.

Kennedy was in the hospital for 104 days, 74 in the pediatric intensive care unit and 30 days in rehab.

“It’s not only a place that you can come and shower and actually sleep in, you know, in a bed, it really became a place for me … me specifically to get away from the hospital,” Dean said.

Kennedy recovered and now her family is giving back with Kennedy’s Butterfly Blessings, a way to give families toiletry items they can use when they unexpectedly find themselves at the Ronald McDonald House.


Nikki Pfost had a baby on Jan. 3 and got to the Ronald McDonald House in Greenville on Jan. 8.

“I’ve been here ever since,” Pfost said. “They’re them, extremely amazing. They provide a room, food, anything that you need, they have it for you.” “But being here, they make it comfortable. They treat you like family and they’re very loving people.”

Nikki’s daughter, Nazier Ann, was born at 25 weeks.

“She was born at two pounds. And then after she was born, she kind of dropped a little bit of weight. So, she was right at maybe a pound and a half because she was born at 25 weeks,” Pfost said. “She spent about two months in the NICU, and she’s been upstairs for about four weeks now. So hopefully she’s on her way of coming home.

“But it’s because of a few hiccups that she’s been having, so that don’t wanna send her home yet. It gets kind of rough, but when I come back here, everybody’s so welcoming and lovable. They’ll give you anything that you need. They ask you how you’re doing every day.”

Click the video to find out more.


It’s a place to rest, smile, cry, laugh, sleep and love.

The Ronald McDonald House of Eastern North Carolina has helped thousands of families in their toughest time of need. It’s truly the house that love built.

Just ask the McCleve Family.

“They were see-through, they were a pound and a half each, “It was a really long time before I think we understood that they were going to survive,” said Andi McCleve.

Andi gave birth to twins, Tyrael and Sheo. Their due date was Feb. 23. They were born Aug. 5. The McCleve family stayed at the Ronald McDonald House for six months.

Click the video to find out more.