Ronald McDonald House


SYRACUSE — Several people were treated for smoke inhalation, and the occupants of 14 units at McCarthy Manor on South Crouse Avenue in Syracuse were evacuated Sunday afternoon.
One person was taken to the hospital with unknown injuries.
The fire was on the eighth floor of the building, causing heavy smoke damage in the 14 units. The Red Cross was on hand to help the occupants find shelter for the night.
Fire crews knocked the fire down within minutes, according to officials.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

I live in apartment 823. I couldn’t get out because the fire was between me and the elevator. Heavy black smoke came billowing in when I opened my door. I’m 67 years old, use a power wheelchair, have an indwelling catheter, two respiratory diseases and just got home a week ago after spending 104 days in the hospital. One fireman put his oxygen mask on me while another fireman walked up eight flights of stairs to bring me the last tank of oxygen.

When they were able to evacuate me, I desperately needed a warm quiet place to lay down and the Red Cross wasn’t here yet, so I went to the Ronald McDonald House two blocks away and asked for shelter.

And they wouldn’t give it to me.

They have a new four-story building with a bazillion rooms, each room having two double beds. Their sole reason for existing is to provide housing for people facing a medical crisis, and they wouldn’t even let me sit in the lobby. The Ronald McDonald House is the worst neighbor anyone could possibly have.

About annecwoodlen

I am a tenth generation American, descended from a family that has been working a farm that was deeded to us by William Penn. The country has changed around us but we have held true. I stand in my grandmother’s kitchen, look down the valley to her brother’s farm and see my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Hannah standing on the porch. She is holding the baby, surrounded by four other children, and saying goodbye to her husband and oldest son who are going off to fight in the Revolutionary War. The war is twenty miles away and her husband will die fighting. We are not the Daughters of the American Revolution; we were its mothers. My father, Milton C. Woodlen, got his doctorate from Temple University in the 1940’s when—in his words—“a doctorate still meant something.” He became an education professor at West Chester State Teachers College, where my mother, Elizabeth Hope Copeland, had graduated. My mother raised four girls and one boy, of which I am the middle child. My parents are deceased and my siblings are estranged. My fiancé, Robert H. Dobrow, was a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps. In 1974, his plane crashed, his parachute did not open, and we buried him in a cemetery on Long Island. I could say a great deal about him, or nothing; there is no middle ground. I have loved other men; Bob was my soul mate. The single greatest determinate of who I am and what my life has been is that I inherited my father’s gene for bipolar disorder, type II. Associated with all bipolar disorders is executive dysfunction, a learning disability that interferes with the ability to sort and organize. Despite an I.Q. of 139, I failed twelve subjects and got expelled from high school and prep school. I attended Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College and got an associate’s degree after twenty-five years. I am nothing if not tenacious. Gifted with intelligence, constrained by disability, and compromised by depression, my employment was limited to entry level jobs. Being female in the 1960’s meant that I did office work—billing at the university library, calling out telegrams at Western Union, and filing papers at a law firm. During one decade, I worked at about a hundred different places as a temporary secretary. I worked for hospitals, banks, manufacturers and others, including the county government. I quit the District Attorney’s Office to manage a gas station; it was more honest work. After Bob’s death, I started taking antidepressants. Following doctor’s orders, I took them every day for twenty-six years. During that time, I attempted%2
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4 Responses to Ronald McDonald House

  1. maieliiv says:

    It never seems to end – and you still always end up on your feet. Be safe, Anne. I hope you are warm. Maie Date: Mon, 6 Jan 2014 01:44:09 +0000 To: maieliiv@sympatico.ca

  2. dee says:

    WOW!! Where did u end up.

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