Meet Our Families – Chase Bales

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta provides a home-away-from-home for over 1,000 families each year, and we love when our families share their stories. This is Chase Bales’ story (edited for publishing).


“My son, Chase Wayne Bales, was born on August 24, 2022, in Athens Georgia, and came into this world with Vacterl association, a disorder that affects many body systems. We weren’t aware of any of his conditions during my pregnancy. After his birth, before I’d even had a chance to hold him, a nurse came to me saying he needed to be transported to a children’s hospital immediately and gave me the choice of Atlanta or Augusta. I chose Augusta, but I had to remain in Athens and send him alone. I was released from the hospital a week later and terrified as I made my way to Augusta not knowing what to expect or how my family’s lives were about to change.
When I got there, he was smaller than my two hands put together, at 5 pounds 12 ounces, and had already undergone his first surgery the day after he was born. Doctors informed me that we would most likely be in the hospital awhile. They immediately referred me over to RMHC Augusta so I could stay close to my child while he received much-needed medical attention. I had no idea what to expect. Thankfully, RMHC knew what to expect from me and what I would need. The staff at the RMHC was so kind, welcoming, and extremely helpful and supportive. They provided all of the commodities of home and what felt like the support of an entire community inside of one building. During Chase’s hospital stay, RMHC gave me and other family members and children, not only a place to stay with a warm meal every night, but they also gave us passes to attractions in town! We got to go on boat tours, museums, and the Kroc Center to swim and exercise. We got to visit with Mrs. Clause and love on some beautiful therapy dogs. When my oldest son came to stay with me, he loved the kid-friendly environment with games in the playroom, popsicles as well as the free Wi-Fi! He was even allowed to pick a toy from the Domino room!
Six months old and four surgeries later Chase was finally ready to come home on the last week of January 2023. Since his release, Chase has required four additional surgeries. We still travel two hours several times a month for appointments and surgeries needed. Each time we come back week after week, month after month, and now year after year RMHC has consistently blessed us by welcoming us to stay so conveniently close to the children’s hospital where Chase continues to receive the life-saving treatment he needs. RMHC has improved the lives of our whole family by providing us with a home away from home.
Chase will be 2 years old in August, and I know the number one factor that has enabled me to stay strong enough to care for a medically fragile child is that the RMHC exists. Without them, my family would not be able to handle his care emotionally, physically, or financially. It would have been impossible. The RMHC is more than a charity. They go above and beyond to provide support, care, a place to stay, warm meals, activities, resources, understanding, and above all, HOPE. And that is priceless. RMHC is a blessing to so many people experiencing some of the hardest times of their lives. My family will be forever grateful and thankful for the supporters of RMHC.  We may not like the fact that we had to come but we sure love it that the RMHC is here when we do!Pamela Waldrop – Mother of Chase

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Augusta serves over 1,000 families each year. Our volunteer-run community kitchen serves over 15,000 meals, and our volunteers and families run over 5,000 loads of laundry every year.

We hope that this story has inspired you to get involved and help families just like this one. The staff, our volunteers, and the Board of Directors thank Mrs. Waldrop for sharing their story, and we hope everyone will get involved.