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WMAL listeners have generously contributed millions of dollars to the Fisher House Foundation to help build houses for the families of our injured veterans as they return home for treatment. Group homes at Bethesda, Walter Reed, the VA, Dover AFB, and more than 60 locations across the country provide a comfortable place for loved ones to live while remaining close to their injured family members.

Once again, WMAL and the Fisher House Foundation are hosting the annual Fisher House Radiothon.

This year’s special Radiothon event can be heard on WMAL all day Friday, December 4th and all day Saturday, December 5th.  You’ll hear inspiring stories from the families who have benefited from your kindness in the past.

Obviously the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has changed our base of operation, but our mission remains the same.  Listen to WMAL December 4th and 5th as we once again host our Operation Fisher House Radiothon.  Hear your favorite WMAL personalities as we host interviews and hear stories from the families of our injured Veterans who have benefited from your kindness in the past. We hope you can join us for a this special edition of our Operation Fisher House Radiothon. 

Please join us and, once again, show your support for those who serve our great nation.

Meet The Fisher House Families!

  • Air Force Major Ian, his wife Kimberly, and their three children arrived at Bethesda Fisher House in January, weeks before the pandemic began. Doctors discovered that Kimberly had a rare brain tumor, so the family of five left their duty station in Japan and spent the next seven months together in quarantine at Fisher House while she received treatment. 

    “Being here at the Fisher House was great because we could just walk to the hospital,” said Ian. “She had multiple appointments every week with physical training, speech therapy, and working on her vestibular and cognitive abilities.” 

  • Army Col. Ben Mitchell was preparing for a deployment in March 2012 when a stray round in a training exercise hit him in his right leg. First aid saved the man, but not his leg. His wife, Griselle, had to leave their 4-year-old twins for the first time to be by his side. 
    “When I arrived at the Fisher House, I saw the light for the first time,” Griselle said. “I knew everything was going to be all right…When we were together as family, that’s when real healing began.” 

  • Navy veteran Jeff Sampson and his wife, Cherl, stayed at the St. Louis VA Fisher House in January 2019 while Jeff received a double lung transplant. The couple stayed for several months due to the extreme nature of his surgery. They formed lasting relationships with other guests and even traveled to visit some after they left Fisher House. 

    “You go in as strangers, but you definitely, definitely leave as friends. Good friends,” said Cherl. “It’s just an amazing experience.” 

    Jeff and Cherl Sampson had to rush to the hospital when a lung donor became available, leading to a drive through a snowstorm and a long Fisher House stay. The veteran is doing great since surgery, though, and has reached over 110% lung capacity.
  • Zachary Sutterfield was an Army brat, following his father from base to base for almost 20 years. He woke one morning in 2018 to find himself surrounded by flames. An apartment fire burned 70 percent of his body, took nearly all of his fingers and an ear, and caused a traumatic brain injury. Against the odds, Zach survived, underwent dozens of surgeries, and is now a successful college student. 

    “Fact is, I would have slept in my truck if I had to,” said Zach’s mother, DJ Sutterfield, a former Army medic. “But instead, we were blessed with a home, a place where I could cook Zach’s favorite foods, do our laundry, even grill out back. But mostly it was a place where I met friends…We were there for each other in the Fisher House.” 

  • In April 2020, Active-Duty Army Officers Josh and McKenna Wells traveled 500 miles from Fairbanks, Alaska to Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson when McKenna went into early labor, more than two months ahead of schedule. After staying a couple of days in the hospital, they were able to move into the Alaska Fisher House. For two months they were able to stay close to their twins who remained in the NICU.   

    “When you’re at a hotel, you’re just a customer,” Josh said. “Here, you’re family.” 

    Active Duty Army couple Josh and McKenna Wells welcomed twins, Elliott and Emilia, early at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. The couple stayed at the Alaska Fisher House as the twins finished growing.

Thank you to our family of sponsors!

Leonardo DRS Our friends at Leonardo DRS will be generously matching the first $50,000 donated on Friday, Dec. 4th!

The Reynolds Team Our friends at The Reynolds Team of Keller Williams will be generously matching the first $5,000 donated during The Larry O'Connor Show on Friday, Dec. 4th!

 

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