Family: The best gift of all

October 18, 2016
The Andrews family is grateful to be together this holiday season.
The Andrews family in Claire's hospital room

UPDATE: Claire got her new heart on Nov. 24, one day before her first birthday! She is doing well and will continue to heal with her family at RMHC Toronto for the next few months.

A lot of children at this time of year start putting together their wish list for Santa Claus.

Two-year-old Madelyn Andrews has a simple but profound wish at the top of her list. Madelyn wants a new heart for her 11-month-old sister, Claire.

Claire was born with an underdeveloped heart. For the past six months, she has been confined to a hospital room in Toronto, waiting for a transplant. While she waits, her family has been staying, close by her side, at Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Toronto.

Give the gift of family this holiday. Donate now.

Having a “home away from home” has meant the world to the Andrews family, who come from Lewin’s Cove, Newfoundland.

“We are so grateful to be here together. Financially, emotionally, I don’t know what we would have done without RMHC Toronto.”

Madelyn and Claire are best friends. It’s incredible the way Claire lights up when Madelyn walks into her hospital room – her two little legs kicking in excitement. When Claire is not playfully jumping on Madelyn’s tummy, Madelyn is helping the nurses check her blood pressure, her temperature
and her oxygen levels.

The thought of separating them was simply unthinkable.

While the holidays – away from their community in Lewin’s Cove – will be different for the Andrews family this year, they are comforted by the new friends and supports they have found at RMHC Toronto. They can remain just steps away from Claire in the hospital, while also maintaining some sense of routine and normalcy – sleeping, cooking, eating and playing together as a family.

“One year ago, we never could have imagined ourselves in this situation. RMHC Toronto has been more help to us than we ever could have imagined.”

With luck, Madelyn will get her Christmas wish and Claire will soon get a new heart. But until then, RMHC Toronto's donors give them a place to call home. 

Donate now to keep families like Andrews close this holiday season.


Leave a Comment

Sandy Goncalves
Dear Andrews family,
I am a grade 5 teacher at St. Matthew Catholic School in Oakville. My amazing grade 5 class and I read your story of courage and hope. We were filled with emotions and we want to help your family and all families at the RMHC Toronto. Our class is starting to raise money in many ways. This includes; creating a family contract to earn money by doing extra chores at home (25 cents per chore), selling reindeer candy canes, reindeer pencils, and water bottles at the school Christmas concert. We have many more ideas in the works.
We were thrilled to read that Claire received her heart transplant a few weeks ago. It is our hope that Claire has a safe and speedy recovery. Your family will be in our prayers.
Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
05/12/2016 2:40:50 PM

We had the pleasure of meeting this beautiful family during our stay truly amazing ppl best to you and yours from me n mine and Ronald McDonald House is a true gift of an unmeasurable kind Pure Positive Energy ;)
11/11/2016 9:12:32 PM

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