Marek, the youngest of four children, is an energetic 3-year-old who loves to ride his bike. When he developed a persistent fever and stomach pain in the spring of 2014, his mom Amanda knew something was wrong.
On April 10, the family received the frightening diagnosis: leukemia. Marek and Amanda were flown from their home in Whitehorse to BC Children’s Hospital the very next morning. That afternoon, Marek received his first round of chemotherapy.
With no time to pack or prepare, and facing months apart from the rest of her family, Amanda had to find a place for them to stay in Vancouver. When the new Ronald McDonald House opened to families in July 2014, they were among the first to move in.
From April 2014 to January 2015, Amanda and Marek were only able to go home for a few days at a time. RMH BC offered them space to play, eased their financial burden, and allowed them to enjoy visits from Marek’s dad and older siblings.
“Without Ronald McDonald House, I don’t know what we would have done,” explained Amanda. “The House was big enough that my kids could be there; for the first time in six months, my whole family could be together.”
Amanda and Marek are home now, and Marek is in the maintenance phase of chemo treatment. This means that for 3 days of every month, the family will travel back to Vancouver for treatment and stay at RMH BC.