Premier Christy Clark joins Ronald McDonald House BC CEO Richard Pass and house resident Jasper Mohan in the ceremonial groundbreaking of the new Ronald McDonald House

Ronald McDonald House groundbreaking held

More than 380 of the 2,147 families that have stayed at the existing house in the last five years have been from Northern B.C.

RONALD McDonald House B.C. & Yukon and Premier Christy Clark June 7 celebrated the groundbreaking of a new larger $28.8-million house on the campus B.C. Children’s and B.C. Women’s hospitals. This new LEED Gold facility will be completed by late fall 2013 to serve a greater number of families across the province whose children are undergoing medical treatment.

“Our government is proud to support the invaluable work of Ronald McDonald House. This new facility will help an estimated 2,100 B.C. families every year during the most difficult circumstances a parent could ever imagine,” said Premier Clark. “The house allows families that are travelling from across the province for treatment at B.C. Children’s Hospital or Sunny Hill Health Centre to stay together, easing the emotional and financial strain for parents so they can focus on supporting and caring for their child.”

“The new house will be a long-term investment in the community, and help more than 20,000 B.C. families in the first 10 years alone,” said Richard Pass, CEO of Ronald McDonald House B.C. & Yukon. “Thank you to our major donors including the Province of British Columbia. Without your support, this dream wouldn’t be possible. We will be able to serve so many more families and continue to never turn away a family in need.”

Ronald McDonald House B.C. & Yukon in Vancouver serves families from B.C., Yukon and Western Canada. More than 380 of the 2,147 families that have stayed at the existing house in the last five years have been from Northern B.C.

“My daughter Claire made her appearance in the University Hospital of Northern B.C. At exactly 12:31 p.m. She was astonishingly tiny at 1lb, 19oz. My first meeting with her was cut short because they had to hurry her to B.C. Children’s Hospital,” said Joanne of Prince George who stayed at the house with her daughter in 2010. “As soon as we stepped inside the house, we felt at home. Although the house was filled with different families, we became one big family through mutual encouragement and support. The Ronald McDonald House is ‘the house that love built’. It is the place where you will be taken care of when your journey gets tough.”Currently, 400 families call it ‘home’ each year. The new Ronald McDonald House will be able to serve 2,100 families in one year alone.

The house eases the emotional and financial strain of being away from the comfort of home and allows families to fully concentrate on giving love and support to their children. This, in turn, enhances the medical outcomes of treatment while strengthening the families that are facing very real and difficult challenges.