So for those of you who don’t know, Ronald McDonald house is a facility that provides accommodation for families whose children are being treated at medical facilities in the area. The Ronald McDonald House of Northern Alberta consists of 32 private family suites that is a home away from home for families.
RMHNA is always at full capacity. We didn’t think that we would be getting a spot in the house when we initially came up for Jaxson’s surgery, which left us with the only option of paying for a hotel close to the hospital. This becomes very expensive very quickly! 5 days post surgery we received a call from RMHNA informing us that they had a spot for us; what a relief!! With having zero expectations, we arrived at the front door of RMHNA and were instantly impressed! What a beautiful and welcoming place.
I’ll take you all on a quick photo tour before I tell you the ins and outs of RMHNA…..
The hallway you come in to when you enter the building
The 3 large kitchens with designated areas for each family
The playroom off the dining area
The ‘help yourself’ room. Everything in this room is a free for all
The hallway to the rooms
Quiet sitting area at the end of the hallway
Playroom in the basement
The 3 giant kitchens allows house guests to grocery shop, store food and cook meals for their families. Every family has 2 big cupboards, and a big shelf in the fridge and freezer designated to them. How nice it is to not have to eat out and spend a ton of unnecessary money!
Most nights of the week RMHNA offers a ‘home for dinner’ program. Community groups and volunteers come to RMNHA and cook amazing dinners for all of the house guests. The best part is there is always a ton of leftovers for the parents who roll in late at night, exhausted after a long day at the hospital OR to take with to the hospital the following day.
RMHNA also has 2 large laundry facilities with everything you need to do laundry supplied to you. We have probably done 10 loads of laundry since being here, it’s been SO nice!
RMHNA also offers underground parking, wifi, school up to grade 12, kids activities, and I’m sure there are plenty that I am forgetting.
RMHNA is not a hotel or a resort. Every family is responsible for their own mess in the common areas. Your rooms are your responsibility. Washing towels and linens, and cleaning your room is all up to you. JUST LIKE HOME!
I honestly expected this place to be very quite during the days as I assumed that everyone would be out at the hospital with their kids. I think everyone else would have the same assumption. However we have learned that is not the case. There are many families here who have kids that aren’t ‘in patients’ in the hospital. They are treated as out patients at the hospital clinics. Most of these children have cancer or other terminal illness. It saddens me to see that there are families who have literally lived at RMHNA for over a year (without ever going back home) and are expecting to stay for many many many more months to come. I couldn’t imagine being in their shoes, and I am thankful that they have a place to call ‘home’ while they are going through unimaginable circumstances.
From the families we have met here, most of their children are either cardiac or cancer patients. We see many families at the hospital on Jaxson’s floor that are also staying here (including his adorable hospital roommate).
I can’t even being to explain what a blessing this place has been to us! It has taken so much financial worry out of the picture, especially since our stay in Edmonton is turning out to be much longer then we had initially planned for. It is nice to be able to ‘set up camp’ here and make this our temporary home.
I know for us personally, we will always be donating to this wonderful cause, and we encourage others to do so as well. Taking away major stressors (on top of having a sick child) allows families to concentrate of getting their little ones better so they can go back home.
If you are interesting in donating to RMHNA please click on the following link (or copy and paste in your internet browser) https://www.canadahelps.org/CharityProfilePage.aspx?CharityID=s45130