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Plum Point mom thankful for Ronald McDonald House

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For some, the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) in St. John’s is a home away from home.

Earlier this year, it was exactly that for Jennifer Young of Plum Point.

Young gave birth to her daughter Praia two months early in January. RMH gave her the opportunity to stay close to her premature newborn during her stay at the Janeway Children’s Health and Rehabilitation Centre.

“A social worker asked if I wanted to stay at Ronald McDonald House,” Young said. “To be at a hotel or something wouldn’t have been possible. It was really hard to be away.”

Young was also breastfeeding Praia, so the proximity to the hospital was ideal. She had to be at the Janeway every three hours for feeding.

Her experience at RMH was one of the reasons Young got involved in the Red Shoe Crew walk in Port Saunders on Sept. 25.

“I was absolutely blown away,” she said of the hospitality at the facility. “At that time, it was so warm and comforting.”

Young told of a special chest of slippers, hats and mitts, something she found to stand out.

A tradition at the house is to pick a pair of slippers to wear, and they are yours to keep.

The slippers, as well as quilts, toys and toiletries are all donated.

Meals are made by different groups a couple times a week, and if someone misses a meal, others ensure some food is put aside for when they return.

“It was actually just like home,” Young said. “It’s surreal.”

Red Shoe Crew Walk

RMH is a place for families to stay when children are in hospital for treatment or surgery.

All money raised across the province for the Red Shoe Crew Walk goes to the St. John’s location to alleviate the hefty expense a parent or caregiver could take on if their child gets ill or hurt.

In Port Saunders, the organizers were Sandee Thomas and Jeanette Lawless.

“I have been fortunate not to personally have to use Ronald McDonald House, but knowing it is available for families who are enduring some of the most difficult times of their lives, it is a tremendous relief,” Thomas said.

The walk took place during poor weather conditions, but it didn’t stop it from going ahead. It was a brief walk around French Shore Academy, but raised over $3,100.

Local businesses and organizations helped out by providing donations and prizes.

Thomas is a social worker with Labrador-Grenfell Health. She sees first hand some of the struggles, especially financially, that parents and relatives have when their children are sick or injured.

“I encourage more people to become involved in provincial fundraisers, like the Red Shoe Crew walk, so the facilities can continue to provide the services they do,” she said.

Young believes the house really helped get her through that difficult month, and was a speaker at this year’s event.

Both Young and Thomas, and other volunteers and participants, hope to continue to be a part of the organization in the future.

“I feel fortunate to be a part of an organization that truly does make a difference in peoples’ lives,” said Thomas.

Melissa.jenkins@tc.tc

 

Earlier this year, it was exactly that for Jennifer Young of Plum Point.

Young gave birth to her daughter Praia two months early in January. RMH gave her the opportunity to stay close to her premature newborn during her stay at the Janeway Children’s Health and Rehabilitation Centre.

“A social worker asked if I wanted to stay at Ronald McDonald House,” Young said. “To be at a hotel or something wouldn’t have been possible. It was really hard to be away.”

Young was also breastfeeding Praia, so the proximity to the hospital was ideal. She had to be at the Janeway every three hours for feeding.

Her experience at RMH was one of the reasons Young got involved in the Red Shoe Crew walk in Port Saunders on Sept. 25.

“I was absolutely blown away,” she said of the hospitality at the facility. “At that time, it was so warm and comforting.”

Young told of a special chest of slippers, hats and mitts, something she found to stand out.

A tradition at the house is to pick a pair of slippers to wear, and they are yours to keep.

The slippers, as well as quilts, toys and toiletries are all donated.

Meals are made by different groups a couple times a week, and if someone misses a meal, others ensure some food is put aside for when they return.

“It was actually just like home,” Young said. “It’s surreal.”

Red Shoe Crew Walk

RMH is a place for families to stay when children are in hospital for treatment or surgery.

All money raised across the province for the Red Shoe Crew Walk goes to the St. John’s location to alleviate the hefty expense a parent or caregiver could take on if their child gets ill or hurt.

In Port Saunders, the organizers were Sandee Thomas and Jeanette Lawless.

“I have been fortunate not to personally have to use Ronald McDonald House, but knowing it is available for families who are enduring some of the most difficult times of their lives, it is a tremendous relief,” Thomas said.

The walk took place during poor weather conditions, but it didn’t stop it from going ahead. It was a brief walk around French Shore Academy, but raised over $3,100.

Local businesses and organizations helped out by providing donations and prizes.

Thomas is a social worker with Labrador-Grenfell Health. She sees first hand some of the struggles, especially financially, that parents and relatives have when their children are sick or injured.

“I encourage more people to become involved in provincial fundraisers, like the Red Shoe Crew walk, so the facilities can continue to provide the services they do,” she said.

Young believes the house really helped get her through that difficult month, and was a speaker at this year’s event.

Both Young and Thomas, and other volunteers and participants, hope to continue to be a part of the organization in the future.

“I feel fortunate to be a part of an organization that truly does make a difference in peoples’ lives,” said Thomas.

Melissa.jenkins@tc.tc

 

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