Week 1: May 14th - 20th, the Finnimore Family
We start our 5 Weeks for Families campaign and celebrate Mother's Day on May 14th with a wonderful story from one of our longest staying guests, Melanie Finnimore and her daughter, Joy (age 2), from Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.
In 2014, Melanie Finnimore couldn't contain her excitement; she was five months pregnant with her first child.
On December 24, 2014, she went for a routine ultrasound, only to be told devastating news: a large cyst was found in her baby's neck. Melanie quickly travelled from her hometown of Portage la Prairie, Manitoba, to receive a fetal assessment in Winnipeg's HSC Children's Hospital. The cyst was due to a rare condition known as cystic hygroma.
On April 7 of 2015, with 17 doctors and nurses in the delivery room, Melanie's baby was born. She was delighted to have a new baby girl. Melanie named her Joy.
Melanie needed to be close to Joy while she received critical treatment, but didn't know where to stay. She heard about Ronald McDonald House Charities® Manitoba, the only organization of its kind in Manitoba to provide support and accommodations for families with sick or seriously injured children.
Joy's condition turned out to be more complicated than expected. She stayed in HSC Winnipeg's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for weeks. Her cyst continued to grow, reaching below her tiny stomach. Three weeks after her birth, Joy received her first operation.
After five months of constant hospital supervision, Joy was allowed to join Melanie for day visits at Ronald McDonald House. Melanie has stayed at Ronald McDonald House since Joy was born and continues to be a guest. Special medical procedures and a second surgery in 2016, have improved Joy's condition. Melanie is hopeful. Looking to the future, the family hopes to soon transition to their home in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.
Ronald McDonald House will always be a home for the Finnimore family when they need a place to stay while Joy receives the medical care and treatment she requires.