Ronald McDonald House has been a “home-away-from-home” for Roxanne Adams and her son Justin for the past 18 years.
When Roxanne moved to New Glasgow, Nova Scotia from Alberta in 1999, Justin was just three months old.
Justin has spina bifida which has meant numerous hospital visits and surgeries over the years including many trips to the IWK. The House has been a constant when they come to Halifax for Justin’s treatment.
“When you stay at Ronald McDonald House, there’s such a feeling of calm and peace,” shares Roxanne who has spent 43 nights there over the years. “For me, it’s the comfort of knowing that I have a place to sleep and shower and eat. It’s one less thing you have to worry about when there’s so much uncertainty around you.”
Being close to her son is the most important thing to Roxanne. As a single mom, she is devoted to Justin’s care 24/7. She says that when they are apart, Justin struggles with separation anxiety.
“When I leave the hospital in the evenings and tell Justin I am going home, he knows it’s to Ronald McDonald House,” shares Roxanne. “He often worries about me, but Justin has been to the House and knows that it’s close by so it helps put his mind at ease.”
Roxanne says that the House allows her to take care of herself, so she is able to be strong for her child.
“It can sometimes feel like so much. You ask yourself, how do I get through this? You feel so alone,” says Roxanne. “But then I’ve met so many wonderful people at the House who I’ve shared stories, tears and hugs with. It’s helped me to realize, I’m not the only one going through a situation like this.”
Roxanne says that it’s that connection she’s made with other families that has meant so much to her. Sometimes they don’t even have to talk; it can be as simple as a smile across the room.
“Ronald McDonald House has truly been a blessing for me and my son,” says Roxanne. “When you walk through the front door, it just feels like home.”