Seven years ago, my family was thrown into a tailspin.  The worst kind of nightmare you could ever imagine.  We found out that my infant niece, then six months old, had Neuroblastoma, It was winter, January, I think, when my phone rang.  It was one of my sisters. ‘Sari is at the hospital with Hope.  She has Cancer.’

What?  ’What do you mean?  She’s six months old.’

Cancer.  Our newest baby had Cancer.

I hustled down to Sick Kids Hospital, taking the subway so that I’d get to my sister, to my niece, the hospital, as fast as I could.  I was on my way to the Oncology floor. Pediatric Oncology.  A place I’d thankfully never had to go to in the past, and where I was sadly speeding towards, my heart pounding.

Fast forward a few months, and many unfortunate test results that sent my sister, brother-in-law and niece deeper into the unknown world of Neuroblastoma and childhood cancer.   What the doctors had initially though was a fairly benign case turned out to be anything but that.  My niece had a avery aggressive form of her cancer, fast growing, with a genetic mutation.  The doctors were stumped, they didn’t know what to do next. There was no prognosis.  My sister and her husband were devastated, but determined to fight for their Hope with everything they had.

Inquiries were made, and a clinical trial located in New York City, at Sloan Kettering Hospital.  The cost was exorbitant, but what price do you put on a baby’s life? Money was found, and the arrangements made.  They were going to New York to make their baby well.

New York.  So big, so far away.  They were to be there for a couple of months, but with the costs of travel and treatment, hotels were out the question.  And then, they were offered a place at Ronald McDonald House.  A home away from home.  The staff welcomed my sister and her family with open arms, and made sure that they could concentrate on one thing:  their baby’s treatment.

When I ask my sister about Ronald McDonald house, the words she uses are:  amazing, wonderful, lifesaving, home.

There was a reason my sister named my niece Hope.  Because she made us believe in it.  Our beautiful girl is now almost 8 years old, a cancer survivor, and one of the most incredibly alive, vibrant and amazing kids I know.  And, I’m not at all biased, of course.

McDonald’s® Canada community involvement efforts are yearlong. Since 2004, the company has raised more than $36 million for Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC) Canada by donating 10 cents from the sale of every Happy Meal. McDonald’s Canada covers all of RMHC’s administrative and operating costs, making it possible for 100 per cent of every directly donated dollar to go to Ronald McDonald Houses and their programs.

RMHC Canada is the national organization that supports Ronald McDonald Houses and Ronald McDonald Family Rooms across the country, which provides families of sick children a home-away-from-home or a place of peace and calm within a hospital.

Ronald McDonald Houses help give sick children what they need most – their families.

On May 2nd, McDonalds Canada will donate $1.00 for every Big Mac, Happy Meal, or McCafe purchased.  The funds raised will be used to support the organizations that help families, such as Ronald McDonald House.

I am participating in the McHappy Day blogger program.  I was compensated $25 for my post, which was donated directly back to Ronald McDonald House. You too can be a McHappy Day Blogger.  Share your own story. Its that easy to raise $25 for Ronald Mcdonald House.  All you’ve got to do is go to the McHappy Blogger page, and register your post!!