Thursday, December 13, 2012

Buy a Blue Santa Hat This Saturday!

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Hats off to Leinster! 10,000 blue Santa hats on sale in aid of charity partner Ronald McDonald House Charity

Ronald McDonald House Charity (RMHC) and Leinster Rugby Club are calling on Leinster fans to join the RMH Blue Army this Saturday, when the boys in blue take on ASM Clermont Auvergne in the Aviva, and show support for Ronald McDonald House.

Over 50 Ronald McDonald House Charity volunteers will be selling limited edition blue Santa hats outside The Aviva Stadium, before the Heineken Cup clash for €2 with all proceeds going to the Charity. The Charity is also calling on fans to show support on Twitter by tweeting @RMHDublin #RMHBlueArmy.

Leinster rugby star and Board Member of RMHC Shane Jennings today said: “We are calling on Leinster fans to do what they do best and show massive support not only for Leinster but also for the Ronald McDonald House, a charity close to my heart. It’s simple, buy a blue Santa hat and be part of the RMH Blue Army this Saturday, all proceeds raised on the day will go directly to RMHC. ”

Marian Carroll, Volunteer CEO of the RMHC said: “This Saturday the Ronald McDonald House Charity has the potential to raise €20,000 from the sale of the blue Santa hats. This money will go directly towards the building of the new Ronald McDonald House on the site of the National Children’s Hospital. Leinster Rugby has been fantastic in showing support for the charity and now we are looking to the fans to help us reach our fundraising target.”

Ronald McDonald House Charity is an independent charity run by a Board of Trustees appointed by the Charity. Over the past eight years RMHC has provided a ‘home away from home’ for 2,200 families (528 Leinster families) RMHC’s facilities are located in the grounds of Crumlin Children’s Hospital.

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The first Irish Ronald McDonald House is situated in the grounds of Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin 12. Our second house is across the road at 45 St Mary’s Drive.

Together the Houses provide accommodation, care and support for 20 families each night while their children are seriously and long term ill in Our Lady’s Hospital.

The Ronald McDonald House at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital

Since the House opened in 2004 we have had in excess of 2,200 families of seriously ill children staying with us from all over the country. Apart from providing a “roof over their heads”, families staying at the House can access support from experienced House Managers, volunteers and other families. An evening meal is provided free of charge most evenings. We also provide the following facilities: TV Room, a laundry, a children’s outdoor play area and a small garden. Our annual running costs are in excess of €300,000.

RMHC Ireland is funded entirely by voluntary contributions from a variety of donors. These include:

  • Network of families who have attended RMHC House at Crumlin Hospital

  • General Public

  • Customers of McDonald’s Restaurants

  • Corporate Supporters

  • McDonald’s Restaurants of Ireland and McDonald’s Franchisees

A word from just one of our families, from Donegal

Emer was born, to our great delight, on the 14th of December 2006. Exactly 9 months later, she was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma, an aggressive cancer of the nervous system. By then the primary tumor, on her left adrenal gland, was the size of a golf ball and she had metastases in her liver, brain, behind her eyes, wrapped around her spine, in all her bones and bone marrow. Until we heard that she had a 50% chance of survival, we thought our world was falling apart.  She endured 8 cycles (32 days) of chemo in 9 months and underwent surgery in May 2008. Thankfully, she's in remission for over 4 years and her prognosis is excellent.

Staying at Ronald McDonald House allowed us to have a "normal" family life in extremely abnormal circumstances. Most importantly, the four of us were able to be together and we had the tremendous support of other families who faced similar difficulties. Quite simply, we wouldn't have coped without our "home away from home".

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