Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Celebrating RMH on McHappy Day

It's a place I wish didn't have to exist.

For that to happen, it would mean no child would ever get sick or need surgery requiring them to stay in a hospital. It would mean no childhood cancer, no trauma and no life-threatening diseases.

Unfortunately that is not reality.

But the silver lining in a world of childhood illness is a place called Ronald McDonald House.

These homes away from home are like a dose of medicine to relieve - even a little - the painful hours, days and months families endure while a child  is in hospital with a serious injury or illness.

RMH also "helps give sick children what they need most - their families."

I know this is true... because I have stayed there. That's why I am supporting McHappy Day to raise money for RMH.

RMH Hamilton was my home in 2010 and again this March. Both were positive experiences that left me feeling grateful and appreciative of the people who make these homes happen.

This place is close to our hearts and meant so much to us during a difficult time.

For weeks at a time over a period of several months my husband and I both stayed there while our son underwent surgery to remove a malignant tumour followed by months of chemotherapy.

Most recently, my daughter also got to stay at the newly renovated home in Hamilton. Words cannot describe how great it was to have her there with me after spending long days in ICU with my son. By still being close to McMaster, I was able to relax and enjoy my playtime with her. It lessened the anxiety of being away.

And the opportunity for her to be with mom during what must have been a confusing and scary time for a 4-year-old also left her with a positive experience.

"It was great," she always tells people.

Our family spoke so highly of RMH on our visits at the hospital, that my son insisted on going there once he was released. As eager as we were to go back home, we took my son for a tour of RMH Hamilton. He too was amazed and excited about the home.

Home-cooked meals, laundry facilities, quiet seating areas and recreational activities are only a few of the services offered at RMH. The home was clearly designed to meet our needs. The playroom was conveniently located off the dining room, so as I sipped my morning coffee I could watch Mackenzie play before returning to Mac.

The spacious rooms were quiet and comfortable. It truly was a place where I could come back to and relax. Supper would be warm and ready upon my return and whatever I needed was there, whether it was a hot tea, a snack or toothpaste.

It was a safehaven. A place where I could forget about the tubes, wires, monitors and hospital routines. It was our oasis.

Thank you.

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