Tea party hosts moms at Ronald McDonald House inside Riley Hospital for Children

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INDIANAPOLIS (May 10, 2015) – The cupcakes, the treats, the gifts, the smiles.

They were all a product of Indianapolis mom Katie Duckett.

“To know the feeling of helplessness, we all know that feeling,” she said.

Duckett spent her first Mother’s Day five years at the Ronald McDonald House inside Riley Hospital for Children.

Her daughter was sick, and since then, she’s spent countless hours and money ensuring every mom had a break on the day meant for moms.

Duckett created and hosts the annual Mother’s Day Tea Party meant for moms like Sarah Hamilton, whose nine-year-old daughter has been in the hospital since November.

“You kind of have to look at it differently,” Hamilton said. “You can’t look at it as ‘Oh I’m missing out on Mother’s Day and my family’s all over the place right now.’ You have to look at it, I’m still here fighting.”

Every year the Ronald McDonald House at Riley hosts nearly 500,000 visitors, executives say.

Sunday’s tea party is meant for a moment of normalcy.

“It builds a real sense of community that you’re not alone in what you’re going through,” Michelle Study-Campbell said, CEO of The Ronald McDonald House of Indiana. “And then they pop right back up to their room to be by their child’s bedside.”

Duckett said she doesn’t plan on slowing anytime soon. As long as there are moms in the hospital on Mother’s Day, she’ll be there too.

“Just a little ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ thank you for what you do from somebody who hasn’t met me and doesn’t know my story,” Hamilton said. “Means a lot.”