Lydia’s Heart

This volunteer appreciation month, we want to share an extraordinary story about a family leaving a legacy to honor their sweet baby girl.

Lydia Mahan was born September 20, 2022, in Miami, Oklahoma. She was a beautiful 9-pound 6-ounce baby girl. After she was born, the doctors noticed that she had a heart murmur that needed to be observed closer – the heart murmur turned into hypertrophic cardiomyopathy with several other diagnoses involving her heart. Lydia’s little body couldn’t handle all of the health issues, and she went to heaven at just 5 months old. Lydia’s mom, Cathy, says it best: 

“We were in KC for a total of 75 days. I never really thought about the extent of what charities provide until these amazing charities like the Ronald McDonald House came to my rescue! You never understand the value of a warm meal, a comfy bed, a hot shower, or a cup of coffee, until you get in the position that you can’t just go home. The Longfellow [Ronald McDonald] House and the Ronald McDonald Family Room inside of Children’s Mercy were my saving grace during our stay in KC. We were a family of 6, my husband, myself, our three older children, Layla, Tim, and Andrew, and of course Lydia. The Ronald McDonald House provided a sense of normalcy for us through this difficult time. We watched as volunteers would come in and provide meals, snacks, or entertainment, all of this just to help make our lives better.

I can truly attest to the fact that The Ronald McDonald House is the house that love built because I saw it firsthand for 75 days. They treated us like family! It was contagious to want to give back to a charity that gave so much to us. We figured, what better way to honor our sweet Lydia than by starting Lydia’s Lunch, where we would come up to KC once a month and cook lunch or dinner for the families currently staying there.” 

While it was tough to come back, this family keeps Lydia’s memory alive by the gift of service – even though they live over 3 hours away. Not only do they cook for families at Ronald McDonald House, but they also do wish list drives, pop tab collections, blanket collections, and more. Lydia’s heart lives on through her family’s love and generosity.