At just four years old, Kyle Porter was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease. For years Kyle’s mom, Cindy Machado, did everything in her power to figure out what was happening to her son and how she could get him the treatment he needed, even when doctors said “things would eventually go away.” Once Kyle had been diagnosed with Evans Syndrome, an extremely rare autoimmune disorder where the immune system destroys the body’s red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets; it wasn’t a sign of relief, it was the beginning of a difficult journey.
At age 13, the challenges seemed unsurpassable, not only was Kyle’s spleen removed due to his disease, the family had recently found themselves homeless. Cindy was unsure of where to turn until they were referred to the Ronald McDonald House of Albany (RMHC). The RMHC provides “a home away from home”, completely free of charge to families with children who face serious medical challenges. This meant a great deal to Kyle as he was able to enjoy his life as a normal kid, spend time with others his age who also could relate to what he was going through.
“I know I’m his mom but to me and a lot of people said he was special,” Cindy said.
After Kyle passed away at age 21, Cindy knew she had to keep going and joining the Daughters of Sarah Community for Seniors (DOS) team helped her get through those tough days.
“I was home, I was depressed, I said you have to get off your butt. So, every day I come here, I think of my son as my inspiration,” said Cindy.
The Massry Residence Activities Director, Christine Vaughn, heard about Kyle’s story and she instantly knew she wanted to combine the DOS and RMHC communities in his name. Christine organized a project where residents began collecting pop can tabs and yarn was purchased for those who could knit. The pop can tabs and knitted pre-mm baby hats were donated to the Ronald McDonald House in memory of Kyle Porter.
“A few of the residents really rallied, Agnes made 32 hats, and Renee made 10, and they collected about 10 pounds of pop can tabs. They were doing this out of the kindness of their heart, for someone they really didn’t know,” Christine said.
Debbie Ross, House Director of the RMHC, was delighted to receive these donations. Gifts like these help to provide funding to support the families and children that stay at the RMHC, completely free of charge.
“This means a lot, even though [residents] might not have met him, he inspired, and that was what he was all about,” Cindy expressed.
Throughout Kyle’s life he didn’t let his disease take control, he always saw the positive in each day and continued to push through it all. Anyone who had the pleasure of meeting Kyle encountered his infectious laugh and strong personality.
“Sometimes when you lose somebody people don’t want to talk about them, I want to, it makes me happy. As long as we continue to talk about him, he is never truly gone.”