Ten days before his 3rd birthday, Reid Huscroft was away at camp soaking up some summer fun and experiencing what seemed like allergy symptoms. Dark circles appeared under Reid’s eyes and bruises developed over his legs. Reid and his older brother Lane were just one year apart, so it was obvious that something just didn’t seem right and a feeling plagued Reid’s mother Jade day and night.
Reid first saw his family doctor in Grande Prairie where blood tests showed abnormal results. They quickly knew that Reid needed further care in Edmonton. Cancer wasn’t even a thought that passed through Jade and Mark’s minds, but on June 15, 2015, Reid was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a cancer that rapidly progresses and can be fatal within a few months if gone untreated.
Treatment for the type of leukemia that Reid has is an ongoing battle that lasts years. The Huscrofts call Grande Prairie home, and each time that Reid needs treatment they must travel over four hours to reach the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton – that’s over 900 kilometers roundtrip.
Reid has needed very aggressive chemotherapy since the beginning of his medical journey and is at a high risk of infection and illness due to his lowered immune system. Even through it all his sense of wonderment and love of all things hockey continues to shine through.
The Huscrofts have called the Ronald McDonald House home multiple times throughout Reid’s journey where the support from the community keeps them strong and pushing forward. The House is a place of comfort for families like the Huscrofts where they can support each other and be close to their children when they are needed the most. Mark and Jade are full of love and gratitude for every ride to the hospital in our shuttle, every meal prepared by volunteer groups, and every night that they are able to rest together as a family.
Each time they walk through our doors the Huscrofts feel a sense of home. The House is warm, cozy, and even smells like home. Whether it’s just Jade and Reid or the whole family, they can come back to the House from the hospital and have a warm meal together – no matter how late it is – which means the world.
“The House really feels like a home-away-from-home. It always makes these really stressful hospital admissions a lot less stressful knowing that we have a room at the Ronald McDonald House and that our family can all be together,” says Jade.
A stand out program for Jade has been our Play Time program, where volunteers plan games and fun activities for all children in the House. It’s time when Reid can be himself, leaving thoughts of illness behind and enjoy simply playing with his brothers and other children staying at the House.
For Reid it is all about the Magic Room. When he needs a lift after an intense chemotherapy treatment or is celebrating going home, Reid gets to choose a toy to keep for his very own. On warmer days Lane loves playing in our backyard, swinging around on the monkey bars with his brothers hot on his heels.
Last summer the Huscroft family spent five straight weeks staying at the House – their longest stay to date – when Reid went into Kidney failure. It was a time of worry and fear, but what kept up Reid’s spirits was the support he received from everyone around them.
Reid is an all-star who gets his strength from his brothers, as well as his parents. He is a superhero who has been through so much. His journey isn’t over yet, but one thing that is guaranteed is that Reid and his whole family will stand together through it all, and that they will have everyone at the Ronald McDonald House in their corner.
The work we do is only possible because of donors like you. With your support, families at the Ronald McDonald House will have more than a place to stay. They will have a home.