FAMILIES at the Hobart Ronald McDonald House are calling on the local community to show its support to help raise vital funds for seriously ill children and their families this McHappy Day (Saturday 16 November).
McHappy Day is Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) largest annual fundraiser and is instrumental in keeping families together while their ill child undergoes treatment.
For 23-year-old Maddison Murdoch this became a reality when she gave birth to her baby boy Lawson Troughton prematurely at 24 weeks in Burnie.
“Burnie does not have the facilities Hobart does, so he had to be flown down here,” she said.
“We’re currently down here while he’s in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at the Royal until he is safe and well enough to be transported back to Burnie hospital.”
Now at 37 weeks, Lawson has been in the NICU for 12 weeks and Ms Murdoch said the Ronald McDonald House had been incredible in supporting her.
“When something like this happens, you think where are you going to live, how are you going to cook your meals, where are you going to park your car?” she said.
“The House has just been incredible, it’s just opposite the hospital and I haven’t had that burden of having to pay for accommodation or worry where I’m going park my car.
“If I had to do that I’d be in very big trouble and I think a lot of other families would be in the same situation.”
Ms Murdoch said the volunteers had been extremely helpful in looking after all the families at the House and encouraged the community to donate on McHappy Day.
“Families would be lost financially without the House, it is just incredible to raise money and funds for families in need and sick kids,” she said.
Hobart House manager Chelsea Emery said Hobart residents could donate to McHappy Day in a number of ways.
This includes buying a Big Mac from McDonald’s, purchasing a pair of silly socks or forming a bucket brigade to encourage the community to donate generously.
“McHappy Day helps us keep our doors open and it helps us be able to have accommodation that families can come and stay at the most challenging times of their lives,” Ms Emery said.
Since its inception in 1991, McHappy Day has raised more than $46 million for RMHC.
“With more families turning to us for support than ever before, it means that the funds raised from McHappy Day are instrumental in ensuring we can continue to offer the services we do,” RMHC Australia chief executive officer Barbara Ryan said.
“A bucket brigade is a fun and simple way that volunteers can come together and make a difference to the lives of families with seriously ill and injured children.”
For more information about McHappy Day 2019, visit www.rmhc.org.au/mchappyday.
Caption: The Ronald McDonald House has provided a place for Burnie resident Maddison Murdoch, left, to stay and receive visits from mother Belinda Murdoch, right, while her son Lawson Troughton is in the NICU at the Royal Hobart Hospital.