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How your friendship is #keepingfamiliesclose through COVID-19

Meet the Cole Family, from Maxville, ON.


The Cole family’s story doesn’t start at Ronald McDonald House Charities Ottawa (RMHCO). It starts before trips to their family doctor’s waiting room, and well before COVID-19. Jesce’s story starts at home.

In Spring of 2018, Jesce, a vibrant six-year-old who loved all things active, began to notice his trips to and from the school bus were becoming more of a challenge. With a numbness in his leg and a constant need to run to the washroom, Jesce was getting frustrated. Doctors repeated that he had a waste blockage that would pass naturally. What they were really seeing in those scans was a tumour that had now been overlooked for months. This tumour would reroute the Cole family’s lives for years to come.

On Boxing Day, Jesce was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). For months, dad, Greg, and mom, Robyn slept at Jesce’s bedside and lived out of their vehicle, utilizing RMHC Family Rooms for basic necessities.


“If it wasn’t for the staff taking such great care of us through the pandemic, I don’t know where we would be or what we would have.”


Determined to find a space where his family could be together, Greg walked himself over to RMHCO, desperate for help. He so vividly remembers the warm “How can I help you, sweetheart?” he received at the door and the flood of relief that entered his anxious body when he learned there was a room available for his family.

Before COVID-19 came to Canada in early March, the Cole family opted to make the 50 minute trek to CHEO for their appointments so that they could stay close to their extended family. In a hurry to get closer to the Hospital so Jesce could continue his chemotherapy treatments with greater convenience, they packed up their things to head to their home away from home.


They have remained with us throughout the entire COVID-19 pandemic – since March 13th, 2020.


While the global health crisis continues to evolve and change, the Cole family is grateful for their constants; their family, the House, the staff and volunteers, and their ability to remain close to their son while he continues to battle his way towards good health.


– Greg Cole, Jesce’s Dad

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