December 09, 2019
Everleigh and her mom, Kerry, are comforted knowing they can celebrate the holidays at RMHC Toronto.
Everleigh is a bright, bubbly nine-year-old. Her family lives on a farm in West Lorne, in Southern Ontario. She loves animals and her favourite pastime is riding horses.
Everleigh also has pulmonary hypertension. An illness that has no cure.
The Pierce family has been in and out of the hospital since Everleigh was diagnosed at two years old. That first hospital trip, the family of six was sleeping on the floor outside the ICU.
Your support lifts a family up. It gives them a comfortable and warm place to stay that is close to the medical care their child needs.
“When we learned about Ronald McDonald House and checked into our room, I cried with relief,” says Kerry, Everleigh’s mom.
In August this year, the Pierce family checked in again to the House. This time they’re waiting for a double lung transplant and surgery to repair Everleigh’s heart.
When the transplant call comes in, the family must be at the hospital right away. They would never make it from their home in time.
Waiting for the transplant call leaves Kerry on edge. Thankfully, the House has programs and activities to keep the family busy. It also eases the transition from life on a farm to being in a big city.
Everleigh loves getting involved and can’t wait for the weekly program calendar to come out. She highlights the things she can do each week. She never misses woodworking. She’s the Child Life program’s biggest fan. But, visiting with the therapy dogs is her favourite – it reminds her of the animals on the farm at home.
Because of you, RMHC Toronto offers more than 20 programs all year round to provide families with fun, relaxation and a sense of normalcy during a difficult time.
“Everleigh lives life to the fullest. She has never let her illness hold her back,” says Kerry.
With the holidays approaching, Everleigh is almost buzzing with excitement. She’s looking forward to baking cookies, decorating gingerbread houses, whispering her wishes in Santa’s ear and watching holiday movies in the media centre.
Kerry admits that being away from home over the holidays is hard. But knows she is surrounded by a lot of love and support.
“It’s nice knowing we’ll be spending the holidays with families who are in the same situation as us. It’s such a blessing.”
The Pierce family knows they have a long wait ahead for Everleigh’s lung transplant. But thanks to you, they can be together at RMHC Toronto.
“RMHC Toronto is a place where I feel comfortable and safe. It feels like home.”