Pictured above, Cheryl Tourangeau and son, Alex Tourangeu, Janet Wheeler. Below, Cameron Laird, Connor Laird, Mallory Ouellette and son, Darby Hazlett.
©Alycia Douglass/TC Media
CORNWALL, Ontario - In partnership with Quilles Nativité Bowl, Ottawa’s Ronald McDonald House officially kicked off their McBowl initiative this Saturday, Mar. 4. The newly launched fundraising effort helps raise money for a worthy cause all while enjoying a day of bowling. The event itself is set to take place on May 6, and will benefit families across Eastern Ontario with seriously ill children.
Mallory Ouellette’s son, Darby was born weighing just 2.45 lbs, and after suffering kidney failure, was admitted to CHEO. Ouellette, her husband and their three children walked over to RMH to see if they could help, and were admitted the following day.
“Ronald McDonald House became my home during those those months,” said Ouellette, “During the most difficult time of our lives, we did not have to we did not have to worry about where we would stay or about going broke over accomodations.”
Darby, who is now three and a half, has been officially diagnosed with Renal Tubular Dysrience, but continues to baffle medical professionals with his progress.
“As you enter Ronald McDonald House the first thing that you notice is how warm and homey it looks and feels,” said Cheryl Tourangeau, who stayed with her son, Alex in 2013. Having been diagnosed with T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the age of nine, Alex and his family went on to live at RMH for the next ten months.
“The common kitchen and TV room often become bonding places for the parents of sick kids - different diagnosis, same emotional roller coaster.”
With roughly 70% of families living outside a city with a children’s hospital, RMH not only provides families a place to stay, but helps them feel at home during their children’s treatment. While things like hospital parking, hotels, and other expenses can be daunting in the midst of unexpected illness, families at RMH pay just $11.50 per night.
In 2015, Manoir Ronald McDonald House Ottawa provided accommodations for roughly 200 families, with 13 from Cornwall. With a fundraising goal of $7,500, organizers hope to make this new initiative a success. Community members are encouraged to enter or join a team, sponsor a lane, or donate a prize in order to show their support.
“Ronald McDonald House believes in keeping families close - and they do it with love,” said Tourangeau.