February 24, 2016
Meet Shane and Karley Abbott of Princeton
One family with a whole lot of love! Meet two parents; with two kids; with two separate illnesses; being treated at two separate hospitals and staying at two different Ronald McDonald Houses more than 3000 km apart.
15 year old Karley and 2 year old Shane, and their parents Lori Hicks & Ivan Abbott of Princeton find support, comfort, and strength at Ronald McDonald House.
Lori and Ivan, along with their two children, have stayed at Ronald McDonald House Newfoundland and Labrador on several occasions. In 2010, their 10 year old daughter, Karley, was diagnosed with a rare condition called Fibrous Dysplasia. This condition had developed a tumor on the left side of Karley’s face which had closed off half of her airway. The family had to travel 250 km to St. John’s regularly to receive the special medical attention Karley needed.
“Travelling to St. John’s for medical appointments was very stressful. We had to stay in hotel rooms, incurring costs which was financially draining because at that time there wasn’t a Ronald McDonald House in St. John’s.” said Lori.
Little did they know, in March 2014 they would be in St. John’s again, this time upon the premature birth of their son Shane, who was born with cerebral palsy that caused damage to the left side of his brain. That’s when a social worker told them about Ronald McDonald House Newfoundland and Labrador.
“When we heard about Ronald McDonald House, we were so relieved. Knowing our family wouldn’t have to sleep in hotel rooms or incur the financial burden was a huge load off our shoulders. Ronald McDonald House is truly a home-away-from-home. Everything you need is right at your fingertips. There is a comfortable bed to lay your head upon, a playroom for the children, amazing groups of volunteers coming in to prepare meals for the families after a long day of appointments, and meeting other families and sharing stories with one another. It’s a great support system. They really understand what you’re going through.” expressed Lori.
Lori, Ivan, Karley and Shane spent a few nights together at Our House before Ivan and Karley left for Montreal for other medical appointments.
While their family is split for a short period of time, Lori finds strength and comfort knowing that Ivan and Karley will be staying at another home-away-from-home at the Ronald McDonald House in Montreal.