Christmas Miracles Stories

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The Stewart Family

Little Calder Stewart was born weighing in at only 2lbs 12 oz. Over the 85 days that their son stayed in the NICU, Tennille and Graham used the RMHC Day Pass Program frequently for meals, showers, laundry, to pump breast milk, to celebrate milestones, and to lean on a network of support when they needed it most.

“As challenging as our stay at the NICU was, we gained a new family at the Ronald McDonald House. We cannot thank RMHC enough for helping us keep our family close.” – Tennille S.

To help families like the Stewart family, click here!

The Doiron Family

Sydnee has come a long way – to sit up on her own, eat on her own, walk on her own, and even talk on her own. For two weeks after her surgery, Sydnee was non-verbal following an unlikely stroke that happened during surgery. She spoke her first word (“Mom”) on her parents’ wedding anniversary. Sydnee’s progress has amazed her doctors. She was discharged at the end of October, soon began to walk independently (sometimes with the help of a walker or chair for stability), spent hours every day at school (in the hospital), undergoing intense occupational, physical, and speech therapy, and now is back at high school in her home town of Didsbury, Alberta.

“RMHC is a true gift. It sounds so cliché, but RMHC is truly a home-away-from-home, we not only needed this place – many, many families do! – Michelle D.

To help families like the Doiron family, click here!

The Gillies Family

In six months Gavin survived eight surgeries and two artificial hearts, knowing that only a heart transplant could save his life. Each setback was a struggle for Candace and Matt. During the week Matt had to be back in Calgary, but he came down as often as he could to be with his family and the time they spent together on weekends was precious. After spending 109 days waiting for a new heart transplant Candace received a call that there was a heart for Gavin. In June of 2017 the Gillies family made their journey back home to Calgary after staying at the House for 156 nights.

“To the donors who sustain the House: You are very, very important to all us families who stay in the House. From the bottom of my heart and soul thank you for what you do.” – Candace G.

To help families like the Gillies family, click here!

The Manuel Family

Kevin and Aimee-Leih Manuel had a hugely unexpected surprise. Their son was born six weeks prematurely while they were on a road trip from B.C. visiting family. “The surgeon said, ‘you’re going to have your baby today,’ and we certainly weren’t ready,” Kevin said. “You do what you have to do…the surgery took place that afternoon, the C-section happened, and our lives changed.” Holden Dillon Manuel was born weighing four pounds and three ounces.

“Right from the get-go he was having trouble breathing,” says Kevin. “They had to incubate him and get him on oxygen support…he stayed in the isolette for three weeks.” They were in the NICU for an entire month. The Manuels were immediately given the option to stay at the Ronald McDonald House, which was a blessing for them being out-of-province and with family being over an hour away. “We were welcomed with open arms,” Kevin recalls. “And the best part about the Ronald McDonald House was that they were there for you before you even asked for it.”

When you’re there, it’s that much easier not to think about home,” Kevin says. “When you’re in that situation, Ronald McDonald House lets you just be there for each other, first and foremost, and then for your child.” – Kevin M.

To help families and children just like the Manuel Family, click here!

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