The legacy began in 1974 with Fred Hill, of the Philadelphia Eagles, whose daughter had leukemia. He and his wife vowed to remain by her side at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Sleep-deprived and nourished only by vending machines, they met others despairing in waiting rooms, parents far from home. Although he could afford the best medical care and a place to stay, he observed that this was not true for many of the other families he came to know.
So, with the help of his team, Philadelphia Memorial Children's Hospital and the local McDonald's Owners, the first Ronald McDonald House was opened. This concept spread rapidly, first to Chicago and then to Denver where in January 1979 the third House was opened at 1000 E. 16th Ave. Since that time over 300 houses have been opened across the nation and around the world.
The original Denver House served the community for more than 20 years before a new House was built and opened in April 2001 in response to the ever-increasing needs of families and children. The House now resides at 1300 E. 21st Ave. in Denver within walking distance to three of the major hospitals and a short driving distance to most others. In 2008 a second Ronald McDonald House opened in Aurora, Colorado due to the re-location of The Children's Hospital and the University of Colorado Hospital.
In 2015, the Denver House was expanded to add 44 new sleeping rooms and now has space for 73 families each night. House features include; 3 kitchens, laundry facilities, TV lounges and dens, play areas and staff and volunteer offices. The Aurora House serves forty-five families with 3 large kitchens, two laundry facilities, TV lounges, play areas indoors and out, computer rooms and a patio area. Both Houses meet all ADA standards. Last year more than 3,500 families called us a home-away-from-home.