It is a shock that most parents don’t even want to think about; Jennifer and Greg Oslund had taken their son, Evan, to their doctor for a sprained ankle – he had been having trouble walking – and were told that their little boy with Downs Syndrome had to begin immediate treatments for Leukemia.
We had to go right from Chatham to London and I wasn’t thinking we’d stay for weeks or months. I don’t know what I was thinking…I packed up twelve t-shirts and a toothbrush and got Evan to the hospital.
Ronald McDonald House had shampoo, blankets, and laundry facilities to get the family through the first week, but it was the friendly environment and activities geared to kids that have helped in the long term.
Evan has very limited speech and mostly communicates through his own sign language. He quickly made a sign for “The Red Door” that welcomes guests to RMH and it was clear to Jennifer and Greg that that red door represented something fun and warm for their son. Evan returns to the hospital and “the red door” for monthly visits, and Jennifer says that for the whole family, it has become their “home away from home. The worries of the outside world are not in this house”
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