McHappy Day is back in Chatham-Kent

(Photo provided by www.mcdonald's.ca)

McHappy Day is back on Wednesday, September 22.

A portion of the proceeds from every menu item sold on Wednesday will go towards keeping families close to their children’s medical care through the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC).

While RMHC is an international non-profit, the ripple effect of help extends right back to Chatham.

Evan Oslund was four years old when he was diagnosed with leukemia in 2014.  The family spent 160 nights at the Ronald McDonald House Southwestern Ontario in London, over a three-year period while their son was in the hospital.

“We received the news that Evan had leukemia while we were at home in Chatham,” said Evan’s mother Jennifer Oslund. “Doctors said to pack a bag and head to London.”

When Evan was admitted to the pediatric oncology unit at the hospital in London, the family had no idea they would be there for the next 45 days.

Unclear of how extensive their son’s treatment would be, Oslund packed a bag consisting of just t-shirts and nothing else.

“Ronald McDonald House had everything that we needed,” said Oslund. “When we got there, nothing was an issue. They had a room for us, clothes for us, and toiletries. They told us to take care of our son and they would take care of everything else.”

Finding out their son was diagnosed with cancer was devastating for the Oslund family but they are extremely grateful for the support they received through it all.

“Being greeted by people who understand and know what you need is more than you could ever imagine in a time like that,” said Oslund.

Six years later, the Oslund family still holds on to the positive memories of their time spent at the RMH in London. This year, the Oslund Family has been selected as the ambassador family for McHappy Day in southwestern Ontario.

Each year, the RMHC Southwestern Ontario supports thousands of families traveling to London and Windsor for medical care through three programs – RMH in London, RMH Windsor, and the RM Family Room in London.

According to an RBC Economic Study in 2019, these programs have helped save families up to $4.6 million a year in lodging, meals, and travel.

“I don’t know how we would have done it,” said Oslund. “It was everything that we needed at that time.”