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Ronald McDonald House Opens Playground
She was born weighing only one pound and six ounces. Today, Tess Drainer cut the ribbon at a new playground named after her.
The folks at the Ronald McDonald house on North 7th Street in Springfield said Tess was born four months premature.
During her treatment at St. John's Hospital, her parents stayed at the house for three months.
The family still makes the 200-mile round trip often. Tess' struggle to survive was their inspiration.
"For somebody who was not going to make it through the night--here she is seven years later, helping people by inspiring them to make this wonderful playground," Tess' mom Carol Drainer said. "I'm very proud."
Ronald McDonald House Charities executive director Kelly Thompson said, "It provides a safe, accessible playground surface and area for kids to play in, and it brings a sense of normalcy, I think, to their lives, when they are dealing with a lot of stress."
Tess also helped raise the money to build this new playground.
The Ronald McDonald House serves more than 350 families of seriously ill children each year who come to Springfield for treatment.