Our daughter Kylie was a little girl who loved princesses, playing with her brother and the Wiggles. All that changed around Easter of 2012.
Kylie had started complaining of back pain. When she lost her ability to walk, we knew something was seriously wrong and took her to McMaster Children’s Hospital. The doctors figured Kylie had pneumonia but when we went to McMaster for her follow up appointment they admitted her to run a battery of tests from blood work to x-rays to determine what was causing her illness. We met with one of the doctors who advised us that Kylie had several tumours throughout her body. The main tumour was compressing her spine which is why she couldn’t walk. They had called in a surgeon and were rushing her to surgery to remove it immediately. We found out later that Kylie tested positive for Leukaemia. All a parent’s worst fears came true for us that day. Our child had cancer.
Soon after we learned about Ronald McDonald House Charities Hamilton (RMHCH) and we were one of the first families to stay there after the grand re-opening. We were given our tour of the House and were amazed at how beautiful and comfortable everything was. Then they showed us to our room. The bedroom and House are immaculate and it’s such a good feeling to be in a well-run place that gives a relaxing break to families during difficult times. We’ve stayed at RMHCH several times over the course of Kylie’s treatment.
We live over an hour away in Simcoe, so having a place to go to after a long day in the hospital was so important. My wife and I took turns staying at the house while the other stayed at the hospital with Kylie. To have a place to go unwind for a few hours was such a comfort.
The Ronald McDonald Family Room also allowed us to take a break from the hospital room, stay in touch with friends and family through the internet, heat up food and use the laundry facilities. It was the little things like this that made such a big difference to us – things we no longer take for granted. We spent close to 40 days in the hospital and the Family Room and the House changed our experience. I’m not sure where we would have been without the support from RMHCH.
The staff and volunteers always have smiles on their faces. I don’t think they know how much that meant to us after watching our daughter go through such a tough time. When we stay there it feels like we don’t have to do a lot to get the help we need. They take care of so much and it’s not a hassle to call them. We are able to show up and have a few hours of relief from our situation while they take care of the rest.
No family ever expects to go through the pain and suffering of a child getting sick and it’s difficult to explain how helpless you feel that your child is suffering in a hospital bed. But it’s reassuring to know there are wonderful people and a great organization like RMHCH to provide comfort in a difficult situation. We truly can’t thank them enough for the strength and support they gave to us while Kylie healed.
Our family would like you to consider giving families like ours the little things that make such a big difference.
Please support Ronald McDonald House Charities Hamilton by making a donation.