Wall of love boosts spirits of families staying at NYC's Ronald McDonald House

UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- For families staying at the Ronald McDonald House in New York, a wall of love is providing comfort during a time that can be very lonely.

It's been another long day for 3-year-old Claire Violet Laibinis, who was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma in June.

"She is magical, she loves to dance and will give you the best lesson on twirling right after she shows you learn how to do it," Claire's mother Dianne Nowicki said.

Dianne Nowicki was pregnant with her fourth child when she and her husband learned that Claire was sick and needed treatment at Memorial Sloan Kettering -- far from their Arizona home.

RELATED | Long Island coffee shop customers pay it forward with Post-it Notes
EMBED More News Videos

At Muni's Coffee Joint in Lindenhurst, customers can buy a cup of coffee for other customers and leave the order on a Post-it Note on a board in the shop.



First Claire's dad stayed in New York City with her at the Ronald McDonald House and now it's mom's turn.

"It's really lonely, really lonely," Dianne Nowicki said.

And yet, at this home away from home, there's a wall full of love -- filled with hearts and messages of comfort and encouragement.

"Oh gosh, the wall of love at Ronald McDonald House NY is such a comfort, it eases that loneliness and creates a sense of community," Dianne Nowicki said.

"While we are a very high touch org, the pandemic has forced us to be high touch in a different way," Ronald McDonald House President and CEO Ruth Browne said.

Browne calls the 'share the love wall' a virtual hug. Some of the messages are exchanges between families staying at the Ronald McDonald House.

"When families can leave messages for other families, it really makes a difference," Browne said.

ALSO READ | Animal-loving pilot helps wayward pelican rescued from icy marina in Connecticut
EMBED More News Videos

It is believe Arvy may have been a stowaway on a boat and ended up in Connecticut.



That peer-to-peer support can buoy the spirit.

"There are some funny ones, lovely ones -- scribble, it's wonderful to know we're not alone," Dianne Nowicki said.

And with a donation, you can add your message to the wall. After all, who couldn't use a little more love this Valentine's Day?

----------
* Get Eyewitness News Delivered
* More Manhattan news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Submit a News Tip
Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.