Red Shoe Day: Giving San Diego the boot - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Red Shoe Day: Giving San Diego the boot

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Ever since 1980, when Ronald McDonald House first opened its doors, they've had a dream.

"We provide a home away from home for families of a child in a medical crisis," Ronald McDonald House of San Diego CEO Chuck Day said. "Once the hospital refers families to us, we'll put them up for the night or how many nights necessary."

It's a dream that often starts with a nightmare, like the Chrapczynski family of Temecula experienced when they received word that their 5-year-old daughter, Kaelyn, was diagnosed with leukemia.

"It's agonizing. It's still agonizing," Jill Chrapczynski said.

"It was very surreal. No real thoughts come into your mind. I guess at that point you are just taking directions," Jeff Chrapczynski said.

Kaelyn spent the next five months at Rady Children's Hospital, while the rest of the family took up residence across the street at Ronald McDonald House.

"It was very important from the beginning that we remain together as a family and provide as much normalcy as possible," Jill said.

Hundreds of volunteers were all around San Diego carrying big red shoes Thursday between 6:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. To donate online, click here.

Ronald McDonald House was able to offer comfort and shelter and stability for husband Jeff and daughter Emma, while Jill spent every moment by Kaelyn's side.

"There are so many good people out there wanting to help and give, that don't even know you. So yes, it's been a life changing experience," Jill said.

Today Kaelyn is in remission and the Chrapczynski family is stronger than ever, because of the bond they were able form at Ronald McDonald House.

"We are grateful beyond words," Jill said.

On Thursday, over 1,300 volunteers will take to the streets for Red Shoe Day.

It's money that all stays here in San Diego and keeps the Ronald McDonald House dream alive, providing support to families who suddenly find their dreams shattered.

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