Julie and Shay's Story

Ronald McDonald House Parkville became home

Julie and Shay's Story

Five minutes after receiving a phone call from the doctor to tell her that her 11-year-old daughter had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, Julie found herself on the floor, hyperventilating.

“When I took the call, I was calm and collected,” she recalls, “and then as soon as I saw someone I knew, I fell down on the ground and couldn’t breathe.”

Julie and daughter Shay immediately shifted their lives from Bendigo to Melbourne and spent the next nine months at Ronald McDonald House Parkville.

“It was nine months of intense treatment so we weren’t allowed to go home,” she says. “I’m a single mum and I own a house in Bendigo. I lost my job the day we left because we just had to pack up and go. I worked out that if we stayed as close as we could to the hospital in a self-contained unit, it would have cost me over $50,000, and that’s not including groceries, petrol or paying my mortgage. So Ronald McDonald House Parkville saved me from selling my house, allowing me to be by my daughter’s side in the fight for her life.”