September 30, 2016
Meet Isla Short and Her Family from Deer Lake
In the months leading up to December 2015, Mike and Sarah Short noticed that their 18 month old daughter Isla wasn’t feeling very well. Her stomach had become enlarged and swollen. They left their home in Deer Lake, with just a small bag of personal items, to travel to St. John’s for more bloodwork and testing. They patiently waited for good news to ease their worried minds, but on December 2, Isla was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a rare type of childhood cancer.
The Short family was now faced with a challenging road ahead, filled with hospital stays, treatments and chemotherapy. They weren’t prepared for this. They worried about numerous things, even the simple things, like where they would stay. That’s when a social worker told them news they will never forget, there was a room available for them at Ronald McDonald House.
“I had heard about Ronald McDonald House but I didn’t really know how important it was to families. We often put our loose change in coin boxes, not knowing that one day ours would be one of the many families needing this home-away-from-home.” Sarah Short
While Isla remained in hospital, Sarah & Michael had a room at Ronald McDonald House to keep them close to their daughter.
This stressful time became harder knowing that the holiday season was quickly approaching; they wanted desperately to take Isla home now more than ever. Then, on Christmas day they received the news – Isla could be temporarily released from hospital. They were so excited.
“When we walked through the doors of Ronald McDonald House, we were greeted with presents waiting under the Christmas tree and the mouth-watering smell of Christmas Brunch being prepared in the kitchen by volunteers. The feeling was so overwhelming. That Christmas Day we received the best gift we could ever ask for…the gift of togetherness. ” Sarah Short
While Isla’s journey is far from over, with treatments expected to continue into 2017, Sarah and Michael have found strength at Ronald McDonald House.
“I don’t know what our family would have done if Ronald McDonald House wasn’t there. Thank you, for keeping us close to Isla when she needs us the most.” – Michael Short