Our Story

My name is Ana and I am a proud Mami of a 3 year old little Warrior Princess.  I met the love of my life, Robert, when I was 18 years old and have been married to him for 17 years in July.  Three years ago, I was in a Doctorate program studying clinical psychology (this I thought was the passion of my life).  Then I became pregnant and had a beautiful little girl named Savannah.

Savannah was born with a rare liver disease named Biliary Atresia.  When she was 4 months old we were told she would need a liver transplant or she would not reach her 2nd birthday.  You can imagine how earth shattering this was to us.  We waited 8 long months and then on December 29, 2007 we received “The Call” that would change our lives forever.  Savannah was to receive the “Gift of Life” from her donor angel.  She received a liver transplant and not only reached her 2nd birthday but her 3rd birthday and we look forward to many more birthday blessings!  If you are interested in learning more about this journey you may visit our blog at www.CotaForSavannahA.com.

Why start M.O.M. - Mami on a McMission?

Our family knows how important the Ronald McDonald Houses throughout the country are to so many.  We ourselves have been graced with the hospitality of 3 different Ronald McDonald Houses.  I actually moved into the Ronald McDonald House of Southern New Jersey for months while waiting for "The Call".  My amazing husband and I chose to have our family live apart as to make sure Savannah had the best medical attention possible.  We lovingly refer to the Ronald McDonald House of Southern New Jersey our "Vacation Home". 

The very first time we walked through the doors of a Ronald McDonald House, Savannah was 4 months old.  We walked into what we later learned was the original home, the Ronald McDonald House in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

When you walk into the Philly House you will encounter a large red wagon filled with new toys.  It is a heartwarming site.  I asked one of the volunteers why the wagon was at the front desk?  I was told that any child walking through the front doors can pick any toy to have...this is because the first night is always the scariest.  I remember holding my baby girl just grateful that she was 4 months old and did not know where she was other then in her Mami's arms.

We have been very blessed and we are home.  We know that we will visit our Ronald McDonald "vacation" House in New Jersey throughout our daughters life for she will always need follow up care.  We know we will be welcomed with open arms simply because that is how they welcome everyone.

We had the blessing of serving dinner at the Fort Lauderdale House with my husband's amazingly generous coworkers in the beginning of the year.  My daughter along with our friend's daughter immediately started to play with a 3 year old little girl who had just come to the House the same day.  I was so happy to know that the memories of the first night in the House for this child's parents would include the huge laughter that these three little ones shared...oh and THEY laughed and ran..it was great!  This little girl was due to lose her eye to a cancer she had been diagnosed with just 2 weeks prior...another little Warrior Princess.  As we left, I asked the father of this little princess if she had any toys with her and he said, "At home but not here.  We just grabbed her medical records, some clothes and ran".  I knew this truth, for when you are faced with a medical crisis involving your child you simply go into auto pilot to save your child's life.  I KNEW at this moment that I would make it our families mission to welcome each child walking through the doors at this House with a toy...for these children are just that...children.

On December 29, 2010 we will donate a "Welcome Wagon" to the Ronald McDonald House in Fort Lauderdale, Florida filled with new toys.  We shall do this in honor of our Warrior Princess in her Donor Angel.

We are NOT a non-profit nor an organization.  We are not affiliated with the Ronald McDonald House charities except as recipients of their kindness.  We are not affiliated with McDonald's (except for Savvy's love of Happy Meals).  We are a family who wants to pay it forward.  We are a family who knows the grief of having a child who is sick and fighting for their lives.  We are a family who have been the recipient of the kindness of many nameless and faceless strangers.  We are a grateful family.