I’m not ashamed to admit it, I occasionally enjoy a meal at McDonalds, and I prefer the McCafé double-double to the cuppa offered by Tim Hortons.

Next Wednesday, May 2nd, I can buy my morning coffee and feel doubly-good knowing that $1.00 from my purchase (more than 50%) is going directly to the Ronald McDonald Houses and other local children’s charities.

Back in the spring of 2003, DS9 was undergoing yet another procedure at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, this time the insertion of two stents, one in his lower right main stem bronchus, the other further up in the trachea. It was done more as a palliative measure than anything else. A tracheotomy was out of the question because his underlying genetic condition (DiGeorge Syndrome) already meant he was deemed “high risk” for recurring infections and we had yet to encounter a specialist other than his cardiologist in Ottawa who would even dare to dream that my baby could survive past his first birthday.

A distance of 433 km and a 5-hour drive (if one kept to the posted speed limit on the 401 *cough*) separated me from my two older children, yet again. The waiting list at the Toronto Ronald McDonald House (RMH) was quite long, which meant that I did my share of sleeping on couches in the waiting room of the hospital’s Critical Care Unit and, on the nights when I couldn’t sleep, staring intently at the large fish tank in the corner to keep from completely breaking down. I was eventually lucky enough to be assigned one of the highly-coveted parent rooms with a pull-out sofa for a couple of nights so that I could be nearby while DS9 recovered from his surgery. My parking costs and meals were subsidized by CHEO, for which I am grateful to this day. I met another family from Ottawa during our stay who did get a room at the RMH and they couldn’t keep from pinching themselves for their good fortune, as they had access to a hot shower and a kitchenette on a daily basis, in addition to a private room in which to lay their heads at night.

A look at the RMH web site today shows me that a new, bigger house, capable of housing three times the number of families they were formerly able to serve; was opened in 2011, thanks to private donor dollars and the support of McDonalds Canada. There are programs for the kids and their parents and older siblings. I don’t recall if the RMH Toronto School existed back in 2003, but to me it’s worth the Big Mac or two (one them is for DH, if you please) to keep this facility going for the kids who are undergoing intensive medical treatment and who want to keep up with their schoolwork and peer interactions.

On Wednesday, May 2nd, your purchase of a Big Mac, a Happy Meal, or a McCafé beverage will see a dollar from each going to support this more than worthy cause.

I’ll be there. Will you join me?



I am participating in the McHappy Day Blogger Program by ShesConnected. A donation in my name was made to Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada in exchange for my participation in this campaign. All opinions are honest and always my own.*