February 15, 2017
Krista and her mom can be together at RMHC Toronto
Though they’re from a small village in Southwestern Ontario, Elmina and Krista Kuepfer have spent a lot of time in Toronto over the past 12 years. Krista has come to the city for treatment of a benign brain tumour on and off since it was discovered in 2005.
“The tumour is right behind her optic nerve,” says Krista’s mom, Elmina. “It’s too dangerous to remove, so the tumour is treated periodically to stunt its growth.”
Until recently, Krista’s treatment schedule allowed them to commute back and forth from their home in Brunner, Ont. But in November 2015, Krista’s doctors wanted her to try an experimental drug that would require her being close to the hospital for a month. Since commuting wouldn’t be an option, the Kuepfers came to Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Toronto.
“We didn’t know what to expect,” says Elmina, “but the minute we stepped inside the House, it felt like home.”
Her husband and older sons had to stay home to work, but Elmina says the House staff and proximity to the hospital helped her and Krista feel safe here nonetheless. They loved Home for Dinners, and Krista took advantage of the wide range of family programs. From scrapbooking to Music Jam, she found many ways to keep her mind off of her illness.
Last month, the Kuepfers found out they would have to return to Toronto for another extended stay. Krista needs radiation at Princess Margaret Hospital for five weeks. Though treatment has been a part of her life for so long, facing it yet again can be stressful.
“It’s scary and she asks a lot of questions,” says Elmina. “But we answer them, she thinks it through, and she carries on as before. Knowing she could come stay at RMHC Toronto again was a comforting thought.”
Midway through their second stay, the Kuepfers are feeling grateful that they get to be together at the House.
“People who donate to RMHC Toronto should know their money is going to a great cause,” says Elmina. “The House has been a great help to our family and brought us comfort during a difficult time.”