'I'm Just Ready to Eat': Patients, Families at Ronald McDonald House at Stanford Enjoy Thanksgiving Feast Courtesy of Volunteers - NBC Bay Area
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'I'm Just Ready to Eat': Patients, Families at Ronald McDonald House at Stanford Enjoy Thanksgiving Feast Courtesy of Volunteers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Like many teenagers, Jeremy Kuester has football and food on his mind. But unlike others his age, Jeremy, who was born with a heart defect, is waiting for a transplant and surgery that could save his life. Michelle Roberts reports. (Published Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015)

    Like many teenagers, Jeremy Kuester has football and food on his mind.

    When asked what Thanksgiving treats he was most excited to eat, the 15-year-old replied: "Turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing."

    But unlike others his age, Jeremy, who was born with a heart defect, is waiting for a transplant and surgery that could save his life.

    The Kuester family has spent the last nine months at the Ronald McDonald House in Palo Alto while Jeremy undergoes treatment at Stanford Hospital.

    "If they find a heart, they’ll call us," he said.

    Last year, Jeremy was too sick to eat.

    "We didn’t know if he was going to be around this year so I feel blessed," his father Stephen Kuester said.

    On Thursday, while many spent Thanksgiving surrounded by family and friends, Jeremy was among those who wasn’t able enjoy the holiday at home.

    Not to be deterred, volunteers prepared a home-cooked Thanksgiving feast for the Kuesters and dozens of other families at the South Bay location.

    Candy Arnold with the Jubilee Christian Center in San Jose has been volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House for the past six years.

    "To be able to share Thanksgiving with people that are giving thanks today for what they have, and what they don’t have, means a lot," she said.

    The Kuesters continue to hope a for a healthy heart so maybe one day Jeremy can "play high school football," he said.

    But on Thursday, he was glad to be able to enjoy the Thanksgiving meal he’s spent a long time dreaming about.

    "I’m just ready to eat," Jeremy declared.

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