More child cancer families under attack

The Herald reports:

A public health group wants the Southern District Health Board to block Ronald McDonald House from setting up in the new Dunedin Hospital.

Yesterday, Ronald McDonald House Charities said it was keen to set up a house in the rebuilt hospital.

Public Health Association Otago-Southland branch chairwoman Mary-Ann McKibben said Southern should follow Counties Manukau and avoid links with the fast-food giant.

They really are fanatical aren’t they.

Dunedin mother Sheryl Cawte was dismayed by the stance taken by public health advocates.

“[Ronald McDonald House] is one of the greatest services that we have in terms of helping families be with loved ones during usually pretty extreme medical situations.

“Our outcomes for our daughter would have been a very different situation for us if we did not have that.”

She stayed at Ronald McDonald House last year when her year-old daughter, Mavis, had open-heart surgery at Auckland’s Starship Hospital.

“It really alleviates that stress of where you would stay in another city.”

She believed the relationship between the fast-food giant and the charity was misunderstood.

“While people think about McDonald’s as this fast-food chain, the Ronald McDonald house is something way beyond that.”

There can be few things harder than having your child in hospital with cancer or other major problems. The Ronald McDonald houses make a huge huge difference to those families but the puritans want them closed down.

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