Local businesses pull together for #12DaysRMHChristmas campaign

Local businesses pull together for #12DaysRMHChristmas campaign

The festive season is all about spending time together with loved ones and enjoying those traditions that have stood the test of time.

Unfortunately for some families who have a child with a serious illness or injury, Christmas will be a little different this year.

Many families will find themselves far from home this Christmas so their child can get the urgent medical assistance they need.

Ronald McDonald House Charities Northern NSW has reached out to local businesses to give families the best gift of all – each other – during their greatest time of need.

The #12DaysRMHChristmas campaign will bring businesses and the community together so they can provide a home away from home nearby to John Hunter Children’s Hospital, which is where Dawn’s family found themselves just days after her birth.

After a low-risk pregnancy, Dawn was diagnosed with total intestinal aganglionosis, which makes it virtually impossible for her to digest foods and for which there is no cure.

During a time when most parents can happily introduce their new child to family and friends, her parents, Geri and Steve, were forced to travel far from home so Dawn could receive the care she needed.

Ronald McDonald House provided a place for them to stay, a warm shower, food, support, and the ability to focus on the most important thing–their child’s health.

As a result, Dawn was able to enjoy her first Christmas at home.

“We can never describe the true impact Ronald McDonald Househas had on our lives. We can’t thank them enough,” Steve and Geri said.

Unfortunately, many other families aren’t that lucky. A serious illness or injury won’t wait for the festivities to pass.

CEO of Ronald McDonald House Northern NSW, Ross Bingham said that Christmas is a busy time for the House and they need all the support they can get to accommodate all families and sick kids in need.

“Accommodation is usually at capacity over Christmas and we rely on the generosity of the community to make providing a home away from home for families with seriously ill children possible,” he said.

“Children whose families stay at Ronald McDonald House tend to be the sickest, have travelled the furthest distances for care and spend the longest time in the hospital. Their lives change instantly.

“Our staff go to incredible lengths to make Christmas a special time for all who are staying in the house. Whilst many of us get to enjoy time with those we care about, these families have had to quickly leave their support network and home to be beside their child’s hospital bed.

“It makes what, for most is a happy time of the year, an incredibly stressful one. But with the support of these amazing businesses and the community, we can give families the gift that will help them the most–each other.”

For every donation the community makes, each business participating in the #12DaysRMHChristmas will match that amount up to $1,000 each.

Local business, Hillier’s Advisers is one of the twelve that has put up their hand to support the campaign.

A family-run organisation, Principal Lauren Hillier said she couldn’t imagine the hardship families like Dawn’s face.

“When I first heard Dawn’s story, I knew Hillier’s Advisors had to help out. Battling a life-threatening condition, at such a young age, is unimaginable. Keeping the families of seriously ill or injured children together, especially over Christmas, is the least we can do,” Lauren said.

“Let’s help these families end a horrible year on a brighter note–donate today to support the campaign and we will double your donation.”

For more details or to be a part of the #12DaysRMHChristmas, click here.

IMAGE | Dawn and her parents, Geri and Steve, were able to spend last Christmas together despite Dawn’s diagnosis of a serious, life-threatening condition.

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