As a father I can relate to the families we support
Jon Haward, Director of Ronald McDonald House Charities
My moment came quite early in my career with Ronald McDonald House Charities. I'd always been a supporter of the Charity, raising funds and giving when I could, because who wouldn't want to help families with children sick in hospital? As a father of two young daughters you know that you will do anything to support your children when they become unwell.
The realisation of what the Charity really is about started when I visited the Houses and talked to the families and House staff. I started to understand that it's fine for a parent to think as I did, but what if your child is ill for a long period of time - maybe even months on end? What happens if they have to travel long distances to receive treatment? What happens to your partner, the other siblings in the family - how do you go about keeping going at work and providing for your the family?
I remember speaking to a young family from Norwich, whose baby girl was rushed straight from birth to King's College Hospital in London. Their little girl only lived for a matter of days and without the House at Camberwell neither mum, dad or brother would have known their newest family member. The House provided a haven for them to be together through one of the hardest times imaginable.
Talking to them and sharing their story was my moment. I realised then why a Ronald McDonald House is more than just a place to stay.