Join Meira Care in Helping RMHC Toronto’s Families Stay Together While Getting Care
Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Toronto keeps families with a seriously ill child together and close to the care they need.
The House accommodates 81 families and is located at 240 McCaul Street in downtown Toronto, just minutes from The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and Mt. Sinai Hospital.
They currently operate seven Family Rooms in five hospitals across the Greater Toronto Area and in Sudbury. These rooms provide family members with a place to rest and recharge in the hospital, just steps away from where their sick child is being treated. Each of their Family Rooms is unique and tailored to the needs of the families in the units and the hospitals they support. They are staffed by dedicated, compassionate volunteers.
The RMHC Toronto School is a private school, recognized by the Ministry of Education, for patients and siblings of patients who are staying at the House. The School compassionately provides a unique, student-centred, learning environment to facilitate academic, emotional and social success.
The House offers more than 20 programs and a variety of courtesy services to provide families with some fun and relaxation during chaotic times.
RMHC Toronto is a registered charity that relies on donations to keep families with a seriously ill child together.
This is home.
When Melinda told her six-year-old son, Edward, that they would soon be leaving RMHC Toronto to return home to Sault Ste. Marie, he was surprisingly disappointed.
She had to explain to him, “We can’t stay here forever. It’s time to go back to our house.”
Over the past nine months, RMHC Toronto has become home for Edward and his mom. The House is a place where he feels happy, which means a lot for a child battling a life-threatening illness.
On February 3, 2021, Edward was diagnosed with leukemia and doctors said he was in critical condition. Melinda and Edward took an emergency flight to Toronto so he could receive life-saving blood transfusions. It was a scary and overwhelming day. In an instant, they had to suddenly pack up and leave their home. As a result, Melinda’s husband and sons stayed back while she travelled to Toronto with Edward.
Melinda says she doesn’t think she could make it through this experience without RMHC Toronto.
“Coming to Toronto was a shock. It’s a big city compared to Sault Ste. Marie. We don’t have a lot of income, so I had no idea how we’d afford this. Realizing we were eligible to stay at the House was a big relief. As soon as I walked in, I immediately felt like I was at home, and I could tell Edward felt comfortable too.”
This family is especially grateful for the programs available at the House. Edward is enrolled in RMHC Toronto School and attended RMHC Toronto Camp throughout the summer.?
“The fact that he can keep up with his schooling and have fun with kids just like him has made a big difference to his well-being. Edward is always so happy when he comes back from a day at RMHC Toronto School.”
“I can truly say that RMHC Toronto is making a big difference in our lives. I know first-hand that every dollar counts here, and I’m so grateful for the donors who have made it possible for us to get through this together.”
RMHC Toronto mom, Michelle, shares how your support is keeping her family together.
My children mean the world to me.
I would do anything for my two daughters and my son. We are a close-knit family who speak every day, even if we’re apart. As a parent, it’s been so painful to see what my children have been going through recently.
Earlier this year, my husband Jose and I realized that our son, Mikhael, was very sick. Even though we knew something was wrong, it was a shock when he was diagnosed with primary immune deficiency disease. We had to leave our home in Dieppe, New Brunswick very suddenly so that Mikhael could begin his treatment in Halifax.
I was in Halifax with Mikhael for a month while our daughters, Angelika and Kate, stayed home in Dieppe with Jose. It was so difficult for our family to be separated. Kate was especially sad because I wasn’t there to give her a hug when she needed her mom to reassure her. But there was nothing I could do. I felt so helpless not being able to support my children when they needed me the most.
In April 2021, our lives were uprooted once again when Mikhael was transferred to a hospital in Toronto. It was during the worst time of our lives that my family found a wonderful place called RMHC Toronto. From the moment we walked through the doors of the House, it felt like we were home.
It’s only because of you that RMHC Toronto exists.
At RMHC Toronto, we have comfortable beds, homemade meals… and we have each other. Finally, the five of us can be together to support one another through Mikhael’s illness.
Without the House, I’d be alone here in Toronto with Mikhael. There would be no way I could afford to fly home to visit my family. And we need each other to find strength and to smile for Mikhael while he goes through the frightening experience of being sick.
In May 2021, Mikhael had a bone marrow transplant and Jose was the donor. Being able to see them successfully go through this procedure together gave me peace of mind.
The doctors say that Mikhael’s condition has improved quickly, which I’m sure can partially be credited to having his big sisters around. They love playing together – Mikhael and Kate’s favourite game is hide-and-seek. The girls especially love to care for their little brother.
Please donate now to keep families like mine together when we need each other the most.
Your support makes it possible for us to stay safe and stay together as a family. Mikhael is immunocompromised, so to minimize risk we rely on the services and amenities at the House. It’s a relief to see my children continuing with their education at RMHC Toronto School and having fun with other kids during the virtual programming in the evenings.
I never thought I’d have a seriously ill child, but – it happened to me. Please know that when you donate to RMHC Toronto you are truly helping families come together during a time when they could be pulled apart.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for keeping my family together.