In October 2014, our son Jack had an MRI at CHEO in Ottawa, On. Shockingly to us and his doctors they discovered a massive brain tumour. He was admitted immediately and surgery was performed. We stayed in the hospital for 3 weeks following surgery and it was determined that Jack would need 70 weeks of chemotherapy and weekly physio/occupational therapy.
After Jacks surgery, a social worker arranged for us to stay at the Ronald McDonald House. This would allow us to take turns staying at the house while one of us could remain at Jacks bedside. It was such a blessing to have a private room, bed, and shower to escape to even if only momentarily.
After Jacks hospital stay, we were astonished to learn that we would be able to stay at Ronald McDonald House the nights we needed to each week in order for Jack to be able to undergo his treatments. We can’t explain what that did for us as a family. It saved our son as well as ourselves exhausting trips back and forth each week from home to hospital. It allowed us to have more quality time with Jack and for us to be able to just focus on keeping him as strong as possible to enable him to get better.
Ronald McDonald House turned out to be more than just “a place to stay”. It became our home away from home. The Staff at the House are absolutely wonderful people–above and beyond anything we could have ever imagined. We had no idea how much of a part they would become in our journey. We began to look forward to our stays there each week with them. Jack was actually excited to make the trips to the hospital for his grueling treatments knowing he was going to get to stay at Ronald McDonald House.
“It was wonderful to not have to stress and worry about driving a long distance in our Canadian winters.”
We had to keep Jack very isolated while we were at home due to his fragile immunity. RMH became a retreat- a place to relax, unwind and share stories with other families that were enduring similar situations with their precious children. This also gave Jack some play time with other children. With him not being able to attend school this was something he and many of the children at the house were unable to experience in their regular life at home. The children really enjoyed the connection with each other. Even with them being so young, because of their own experiences, they seemed to realize each other’s medical limitations and respected them.
The Staff at the House are truly remarkable. A volunteer group would cook a fantastic dinner for us many nights- a much appreciated treat after such a long day at the hospital. Jack thoroughly enjoyed “helping” the ladies in the office, and they welcomed him with open arms.
Our early morning starts for chemotherapy were a breeze with our short trip across the parking lot. It was wonderful to not have to stress and worry about driving a long distance in our Canadian winters.
We can’t begin to thank Ronald McDonald House for everything they have done for our family. We are forever grateful for the love, support, care and kindness that was extended to us. It is a great comfort to know that they continue to be with us on our journey with Jack.
Our sincere gratitude,
Mike, Krista and Jack