“There are No Words to Describe How Much They Helped Us. They Gave Us a New Home, and Basically an Extended Family”

Many parents and other family members have discovered the value of Ronald McDonald House Charities, which provides low-cost or free housing for families to stay in while their ill children are in a hospital. Laura MacDonald of Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, stayed in a Ronald McDonald House while her daughter, Hayley, was being treated in 2011 at the British Columbia Children’s Hospital. When Hayley was 19 months old, doctors discovered that she was suffering from Wilms tumour, which affected her kidneys. Ms. MacDonald said, “They told us we have 45 minutes before the next ferry left.” Hayley needed and got chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation, followed by more chemotherapy. Ms. MacDonald, who works as a customer service representative for Shaw Nanaimo, said about Ronald McDonald House, “There are no words to describe how much they helped us. They gave us a new home, and basically an extended family.” Hayley entered the hospital on August 30, 2011, and had an operation on October 31, and then she and her family returned to Nanaimo on November 22. In June 2014, the newest Ronald McDonald House opened on two acres at the British Columbia Children’s Hospital campus. This Ronald McDonald House is the second largest in Canada. Ms. MacDonald said, “Having something that can accommodate more families is just amazing. The need for it is so huge.” The Ronald McDonald House in British Columbia charges families $12 a night, but the fee is waived in cases of financial hardship. According to an article by Darrell Bellaart in the Nanaimo Daily News, “The $31-million facility got $13.3 million in provincial government funding, with the rest from McDonald’s Canada and related charities, Variety, ITC Construction and the Chan Family Foundation. B.C. McDonald’s restaurants put in more than $5.7 million, of which $1.2 million was through McHappy Day funds and in-restaurant coin boxes.”

For More Information: Darrell Bellaart, “ Good Deeds: City mom helped by Ronald McDonald House.” Nanaimo Daily News (British Columbia, Canada). 24 June 2014

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