When Melinda told her six-year-old son, Edward, that they would soon be leaving RMHC Toronto to return home to Sault Ste. Marie, he was surprisingly disappointed.

She had to explain to him, “We can’t stay here forever. It’s time to go back to our house.”

Over the past nine months, RMHC Toronto has become home for Edward and his mom. The House is a place where he feels happy, which means a lot for a child battling a life-threatening illness.

On February 3, 2021, Edward was diagnosed with leukemia and doctors said he was in critical condition. Melinda and Edward took an emergency flight to Toronto so he could receive life-saving blood transfusions. It was a scary and overwhelming day. In an instant, they had to suddenly pack up and leave their home. As a result, Melinda’s husband and sons stayed back while she travelled to Toronto with Edward.

Melinda says she doesn’t think she could make it through this experience without RMHC Toronto.

“Coming to Toronto was a shock. It’s a big city compared to Sault Ste. Marie. We don’t have a lot of income, so I had no idea how we’d afford this. Realizing we were eligible to stay at the House was a big relief. As soon as I walked in, I immediately felt like I was at home, and I could tell Edward felt comfortable too.”

This family is especially grateful for the programs available at the House. Edward is enrolled in RMHC Toronto School and attended RMHC Toronto Camp throughout the summer.

“The fact that he can keep up with his schooling and have fun with kids just like him has made a big difference to his well-being. Edward is always so happy when he comes back from a day at RMHC Toronto School.”

“I can truly say that RMHC Toronto is making a big difference in our lives. I know first-hand that every dollar counts here, and I’m so grateful for the donors who have made it possible for us to get through this together.”