Portage la Prairie Family Stories

The Moar family spent time at Ronald McDonald House while their premature-born son grew stronger in HSC Children's Hospital's NICU. (Pictured from left: Steve, Maddox and Erin)

"When our son, Maddox, came 7 weeks early, we were not prepared. Maddox had a really rough start in this world and we were very nervous to be far away from him. We live in Portage la Prairie, about an hour and 15 minutes away from the NICU at HSC. We wanted to be able to be close by in order to see him frequently and so we could be there quickly if anything should happen. When we were told a room opened up at Ronald McDonald House we were very excited and to be honest, nervous. We refer to ourselves as ‘home-bodies’ and the thought of sharing a house and bathroom with a bunch of strangers made us feel very uncomfortable. The nervousness quickly diminished after we checked into our room. The staff and volunteers were extremely helpful and kind. RMHC Manitoba has thought of everything to make families like ours who are thrust into a crisis and still in shock, feel comfortable. Having a five minute walk to see our baby vs. driving over an hour allowed us to relax a bit. We didn’t have to worry about the everyday things like laundry or being able to afford to eat out because we could cook our own food and many meals were also provided for us. Staying at Ronald McDonald House let us focus on our newborn and enabled us to spend as much time as possible being by his side during a very scary time in our lives." 

Melanie Finnimore stayed at Ronald McDonald House to be close to her daughter, Joy, as she received medical treatment. After two-and-a-half years, they moved home to Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.

“We are the Finnimore family – Joy, Melanie, Travis and Lynda. I am Joy Finnimore, one of many children helped by RMHC Manitoba. I have Cystic Hygroma (lymphatic malformation). My airway is full of cysts and I have to wear a trach to breath. I have had six major surgeries. I am four-years-old and spent two-and-a-half years at HSC Children’s Hospital. RMHC Manitoba plays a major role in my reality. My family is the longest staying family at Ronald McDonald House in Winnipeg. Because of RMHC Manitoba, we have been able to remain together as a family. We would not be where we are today without this support. Because of our “home-away-from-home”, I have been able to develop normally. Many meaningful in-House programs are offered and we are so grateful. Whenever something is needed, from sewing thread, to getting help with the needs of my journey, the wonderful staff is there to support us. We look forward to welcoming you at the Red Shoe Crew Walk on June 2nd in Portage la Prairie. See you there!” - Melanie Finnimore

If you are a family from Portage la Prairie with an RMHC Manitoba story you would like to share, please email eden@rmhmanitoba.org to have it included on this page!