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June 2, 2014 was a very special day for Ronald McDonald House BC. We opened the Ronald McDonald Family Room in Surrey Memorial Hospital, an area of relaxation and peace for family members of children admitted for treatment at the Hospital. One year later, former patients, staff, and volunteers met in this special space to celebrate a memorable and busy year.

Parents shared stories about how the Family Room helped them in their difficult times over delicious goodies and cake. One mother said that the Family Room was like being embraced in a warm blanket after a cold, chilly day. With tears forming in her eyes, she discussed the struggles of having a premature baby. She and her husband visited Mexico recently and purchased a special painting to donate to the Family Room as a small token of their overwhelming appreciation.

Many others echoed this gratitude. Numerous people said the Family Room was a perfect escape from the hospital environment. One mother said in her five weeks at Surrey Memorial Hospital, she left the property a mere three times. Otherwise, she stayed by her baby’s bedside.The Family Room provided her the simple but incredibly valuable comforts of home, such as a warm shower, while still keeping her steps away from her child.

Staff and volunteers were delighted to see familiar faces again. It was a treat to celebrate the accomplishments of the first year at the Family Room and see how far we’ve come in providing this necessary and precious space. We hope to be able to continue to provide these comforts to many more families in the coming years.