Tricia and Barry MacIntyre from Little Brasd’or, Cape Breton and parents to six year old Kaylee remember the day when their life changed.
On March 7, 2012, Tricia noticed a funny looking rash on Kaylee’s arms. She called her family doctor and requested an immediate appointment. They were sent for routine blood work and were told they would receive a call if there was anything wrong.
“The next day Kaylee and I were at the grocery store when my cell phone rang and our world completely turned upside down,” says Tricia. Kaylee’s blood work indicated she was very ill. After six weeks and numerous tests, it was determined that she had Aplastic Anemia, a disease that causes bone marrow failure. “My husband and I were devastated but pulled ourselves together and made a pact that we were were going to take it one day at a time,” recalls Tricia. “Our job was to protect Kaylee from the bad and evil of the disease and she was going to beat this. There was no other option!”
This started the first of many trips to Halifax for care. “This is where Ronald McDonald House came into our lives and made things bearable,” says Tricia. “They gave us a place to stay that was affordable, clean and welcoming. It made Kaylee getting better, easier.” In the months that followed, Tricia and Barry had to miss a lot of work. In March of 2014 Kaylee became very sick and required a Bone Marrow transplant in Toronto.
“As a parent you will do anything for your sick child,” says Tricia. “Ronald McDonald House helped give us the financial break we needed so we could focus on Kaylee’s care. It has kept our family together, eased our worries and took a big load off our shoulders.”
Today Kaylee is doing very well. However, the MacIntyre’s know that it doesn’t end here for them. “We will have to travel to the IWK until Kaylee is 18 years old so they can monitor her blood and bone marrow,” says Tricia. “Therefore, we will continue to need Ronald McDonald House until our little girl becomes an adult and she doesn’t mind that at all. Kaylee looks forward to staying at the House.
Kaylee’s favourite things about the House include the yummy baked goods, the playroom and playing Wii with the volunteers.
“It really is a home,” says Tricia. “It’s where everybody understands and everybody has their own story. Ronald McDonald House has been our saving grace throughout this whole journey. I am in awe of how much it has helped my family.”