On February 19, 2015, Annie and Trevor Power from Moncton, New Brunswick, welcomed a new baby boy to their family. Evan arrived early, weighing just 3 lbs and 14 ounces.
For the next six weeks, he stayed at The Moncton Hospital so the doctors could monitor his weight. Annie wanted to be close to her new baby so she moved into a room in the hospital.
Not long after Evan was born, they were introduced to the Ronald McDonald Family Room when Trevor learned from the nurses that it was a place where he could shower. He then found out more about what the room had to offer and the Home for Dinner meals.
“When I first walked in the doors of the Family Room, I could feel the warmth,” remembers Annie. “It was such a different experience than being in a hospital room. It felt like a home. The room was uplifting.”
Over the next six weeks, Annie and Trevor spent a lot of time at the Family Room. It was a place where they could grab a snack, enjoy a meal, or find some quiet time.
“The Family Room was a place to get away from the noise and the stress of the hospital. When you’re sitting next to your son’s bed in the NICU and all you can hear is the machines and the beeps, you can’t help but be stressed,” recalls Annie. “It was a great getaway, even for a little bit.”
Annie was also grateful to have a place where her family could come see her.
“My 12 year old stepson Quentin would come to the hospital with us every weekend. He didn’t really want to spend hours on end there,” says Annie. “It was nice that he had a place where he could be a kid and play. The volunteers were exceptionally good with him.”
The Powers knew that they wanted to give back to the Family Room so decided they would start a new family tradition that would allow them to do just that.
“When Evan turned 1, we returned to the Family Room to prepare a meal for families,” says Annie. “We thought we should do it on behalf of Evan and make it our family tradition every year on Evan’s birthday.”
After all, it wasn’t that long ago that they were one of the families enjoying meals prepared for them by volunteer groups.
“Our hope is that maybe Evan will keep the tradition going with his own family one day,” adds Annie.
The Powers returned to the Family Room again on February 19th of this year preparing another meal for families and marking Evan’s second birthday.