August 20, 2014
Meet Carter MacNeil and His Family From Stephenville
Provider, Protector and Dad
Meet Darrell MacNeil, his wife Stephanie, and their 2-year old son Carter of Stephenville
“Provider, protector and Dad are all words that every man wants to fulfill.” expressed Darrell MacNeil of Stephenville. Darrell and Stephanie’s 2-year old son Carter was diagnosed with leukemia, which meant relocating to St. John’s for at least 6 months of treatment
On March 15th these words became very important to Darrell. On that day Darrell and Stephanie had planned to take 2 year old Carter skating for the very first time. Stephanie noticed a rash on Carter that started to spread. Naturally, she wanted to have it checked out by a doctor. That is when their life changed forever. They were told that he had leukemia and that Carter must be immediately airlifted to St. John’s, where they would have to stay for at least 6 months of treatment. Fear, uncertainty and helplessness are feelings that started to surface.
Having to leave his job to relocate 10 hours away, Darrell wondered how he would provide for his family. He wondered where they would stay. Then he wondered how he could protect his family and keep them safe in an unfamiliar place? He also wondered how could be a Dad, when his son has cancer and he could not take it away, like he could take away the monsters under the bed.
“My wife and son were airlifted to St. John’s and I drove throughout the night to meet them there. As you can imagine, this was the longest drive of my life.” expressed Darrell.
The hospital staff asked, “Where are you going to stay?” Darrell and Stephanie did not know the answer.
It was then the hospital staff told them about the Ronald McDonald House and made a referral on their behalf. Shortly after they received a call saying that there was room available at the House!
Darrell shared these kind words with us….
“We met with the House Manager. She was like a breath of fresh air, telling us everything we needed to know. The house was beautiful, clean and the staff was very nice. She took us to the quilt room. We were given a quilt for our son. He loves quilts. This is when the tears started to flow, as I felt the overwhelming feelings that everything was going to be alright. Since being at the House a lot of our stress has been taken off of our backs. We have met a lot of nice families here. Each family has their own stories of how they came here but we all have one thing in common, a sick child. This makes us all one big family and this is how it feels to be at the House. There is no better place to be, under these circumstances. The amazing staff that is there day and night, the volunteers, the groups that cook meals for the Home for Dinner Program and sweets for the Just Like Nan’s Baked Goods Program and our fellow guests – have become family.
Thank you to everyone that supports Ronald McDonald House, for once again, I can be the provider, the protector and most importantly Dad!”