The Beaulieu Family

Beaulieu FamilyOn Friday the 13th 1985, I was admitted to Baystate Medical Center after collapsing several times at school. Later that evening the doctors brought me into a big room and told me and my parents that I had Leukemia and that without immediate medical intervention, I had anywhere from five days to two weeks left to live.

The next morning they drove me to Boston Children’s Hospital where I would spend the next couple months. On the very first day I was put on a punishing protocol of chemotherapy and was told I was going to experience many necessary but painful procedures. In addition to worrying about me, every night my parents had to find food and lodging.

Then a minor miracle happened, my mother told me that they were staying at a Ronald McDonald House. She said it was a big beautiful Victorian house with a beautiful clean room. Most importantly, it was close to the hospital. I felt a sense of relief for my parents knowing they didn’t have to worry about their own daily survival, and they could concentrate on the task at hand; to get their child better.

Over the next year, I too would stay at the Ronald McDonald House as an outpatient when I had to go to Boston for treatments. It was more like home than in the hospital. Most importantly RMH gave us the support of the cancer community. The kitchen became a place where everyone would assess everyone else to see if they needed some help, just a kind word or listening for a while. Often the parents who were farther along with their treatment protocol would share their experience with the new parents to give them hope. The Ronald McDonald House was more than a place to stay; it was a community of support and hope. It has now been thirty years since I stayed at the Ronald McDonald House and twenty-eight years since I beat cancer. After you have read my story I hope that you will help ensure that the Ronald McDonald House is able to remain ever constant in its mission to help families in need.

Sincerely
Derek M. Beaulieu Sr.

2016-09-08T21:13:53+00:00