“The most difficult day of my life”

February 28, 2017
40 per cent more families, like the Morelands, supported last year
Candice and Sean Moreland holding their son, Carson

“It was the most difficult day of my life,” says Sean Moreland.

In November 2015, his nine-month-old son, Carson, was diagnosed with a life-threatening eye cancer called retinoblastoma.

“This was my greatest fear,” he says, “because I too had retinoblastoma as a child.”

Sean and his wife, Candice, were determined to do everything they could to help little Carson in the fight of his life, so they temporarily relocated from High River, Alberta to Toronto, the only place where the treatment he needs is available. They moved into Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Toronto.

In Toronto over the next year, Carson underwent countless rounds of chemotherapy, cryotherapy, laser therapy and surgeries to save his life. And at the House, the Morelands found a community of support – in the other families, the volunteers and the staff.

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“Thirty-five years ago, my family had to face my treatment alone,” says Sean. They were away from their support network.

“Facing this diagnosis has been a lot less lonely because of the House,” says Candice. “You can easily fall into sadness, but this place lifts you up. You see the good in the world here.”

Last year, 4,367 families like the Morelands came to Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Toronto for support. That’s 1,200 more than the previous year – an increase of 40 per cent. The need for our House and in-hospital Family Rooms has never been higher.

“We’d be in a really difficult situation right now without RMHC Toronto,” says Candice. She says having to pay for a hotel and restaurant meals, all while being unable to work, means they would likely have lost their home and have difficulty putting food on the table.

They are grateful to everyone who makes RMHC Toronto possible. That is especially the case because they know they will contact to need our support well into the future. While Carson’s initial rounds of treatment are over, he has to come back to the House every two months for the next four years. Regular checkups are essential to helping him preserve his remaining sight and to ensuring he stays healthy.

“There are really no words to describe what RMHC Toronto means to us, and how grateful we are to the donors who support it,” says Candice.

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