It was 2009 and Laura and Dan had been waiting patiently for their perfect valentine’s gift – not diamonds or chocolate but something better. It was the arrival of their baby girl, who made her grand entrance into the world on February 25th. With baby Freya experiencing newborn complications, Dan and Laura turned to Ronald McDonald House to keep them close on this unexpected journey. Walking through the doors of RMH London for the first time, Laura and Dan may have been in a tired fog but today they recall it more clearly than ever; it was the first day they met their new RMH family, started on a new path with their daughter, and the beginning of a new tradition that brought both family and love together– Freya’s Breakfast.
Every year, on our daughter’s birthday, we return to the House to make and serve breakfast to the families currently held in the warm embrace of the House. Every year, we ensure we give back to the place that held us.
After Freya was transferred to London by ambulance shortly after birth, Dan and Laura arrived unprepared and uncertain of what the future would hold but found comfort in their “home-away-from-home”.
We ate meals because the volunteers at the House made them. We brushed our teeth because we were given toothbrushes. We wept and slept, waited and worried, in the space that was prepared for us by volunteers and donors. Sitting together, and eating an actual meal gave us the chance to really process what was happening and gave us the strength we needed to face another day at the hospital.
These days, Freya is a 12-year-old voracious reader who loves skiing, horseback riding, swimming, and hanging out with friends. But Covid-19 has made it difficult to do many of her favorite things, including volunteering in the RMH kitchen (Meals from the Heart is on hold across RMHC-SWO programs). Just as they did all those years ago, when Freya’s family saw an unexpected bump in the journey ahead they stayed together and found a new way to help the House.
They're raising funds to provide meals for families staying close with an online RMHC fundraising page, 10 Meals for 10 Days, in honour of the 10 days they spent staying close to Freya when she was a baby. You can help them surpass their goal with a donation until February 25th, 2021!