When Dr. Audrey E. Evans came to the United States from Scotland to establish her medical career, she saw many exhausted parents of sick children sleeping and waiting in hospitals. As a doctor who works with children who have cancer, she wanted to provide parents, especially those from other states, a home-away-from-home environment and a better place to stay.
Without the finances needed to buy a house close the Children's Hospital in Philadelphia, where she was practicing, she formed a committee and recruited the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles and McDonald's Restaurant to purchase the house. This house became the first Ronald McDonald House. Since 1974, Ronald McDonald Houses have grown to number over 130 in the United States with an additional 45 in other countries.
Each Ronald McDonald house operates independently with a Board of Directors and volunteers who provide a family atmosphere for parents and sick children. At some houses, families pay a small fee depending on their financial standing.
Dr. Evans continues to play an active role in the Philadelphia Ronald McDonald House serving on the executive board and continues to seek a solution to cancer at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia. She also works with Ronald McDonald Charities and other organizations across the country.