This past week we spent some extra time with the House! Not only were we in to green up (which may of possibly also included sugaring up) our kids with some early St. Patrick’s Day treats, but we were also involved in their Friday lunch delivery program. This special program is an extension of Home for Dinner. On Fridays, lunch is made by the House for not only all of the families staying at RMHNA but also made for and delivered to families at the Stollery. Take a moment to put yourself into the role of a parent staying at Ronald McDonald House® or staying at the bedside of your ill child. Just imagine how difficult and expensive it is for these families to get away for a quick cafeteria meal, especially for those whose children are undergoing months of treatment. This initiative is not only tremendously necessary and helpful but it has limitless potential and possibilities; we were very excited to be a part of it!
At the Stollery, we were very happy to see some of the families we hadn’t seen in a while. We ran into, actually no scratch that, we were run over by our buddy Kyler. We’re definitely on #TeamKyler. Among others, we reconnected with our beautiful boy J and just a titch of a warning to all you parents with girls, if this charming boy ends up in your world, you want to hold onto him! Every time we turned around we saw children and families we knew.
We made amazing new friends and were inspired by their grace, fortitude and selflessness. There was the lovely Pyper who wanted to give back and decided to raise funds for Camp Everest, a camp for kids who have had brain or spinal cord surgery at the Stollery. Pyper sold hotdogs from her wheelchair as an inpatient at the Stollery and successfully raised nearly $800 for her cause. Ya, you read that right, nearly $800 raised by this beautiful spirit while undergoing treatment herself!
This was a roller coaster type of a day for us. It was a different experience, almost indescribable, from doing lunch at the Stollery as opposed to the House. It was moving and exhausting in a great way; full of love, laughter, tears and hugs. One courageous House Mom summed up life pretty succinctly saying she couldn’t predict what would happen long term or what the future held for her and her family. At this point what she needs to do is to hope for the best and to take each day as it comes. She reminded us that there is always hope, no matter how small, and from that hope comes strength. There is strength in the hope of a family and even more so in the collective hope of a community. RMHNA provides the foundation and the framework for this support. The House encourages and enables entire communities (near and far) to come together to provide support, strength and most importantly, hope.