Providing care and support to caregivers – needed now more than ever

A hospitality cart. Photo credit: Ronald McDonald House New York.

 

Staying true to its mission, even during the pandemic, Ronald McDonald House New York (RMH-NY) has continued to support families in their fight against pediatric cancer and other serious pediatric illnesses. It has provided meals and activities directly to families’ rooms, virtual programming, online support groups, transportation and more.

The Blavatnik Family Foundation has been a longtime supporter of Ronald McDonald House New York, including funding a new Wellness Center for caregivers of children with serious pediatric illnesses.

The center has provided caregivers access to respite and self-care services from a team of vetted wellness volunteers and support staff. Services include massages, haircuts, meditation and fitness classes.

Expanding its reach amid the coronavirus outbreak, the center partnered with hospitals across New York City’s five boroughs, assembling and delivering special wellness packages in a show of appreciation for health care workers and their dedication to patients.

The foundation also recently increased its support for hospital outreach services for RMH-NY staff and volunteers. This gift will fund wellness services and health education classes, such as reflexology, yoga/meditation, and music therapy, all within close proximity to pediatric wards.

 

Hospital Outreach Caregiver Day. Photo credit: Ronald McDonald House New York

 

Also, nutritious snacks and beverages provided by RMH-NY hospitality carts will be sponsored entirely by the foundation, allowing caregivers access to healthy refreshments while they provide bedside care in the hospital. It’s part of an ongoing effort to help caregivers, mitigating some of the stress, isolation and financial hardships experienced by those caring for extremely ill children.

RMH-NY, like many other organizations operating under COVID-19 restrictions, hosted its 28th Annual Gala virtually on Nov. 16, raising critical funds to support families facing pediatric cancer.

The program included a performance by Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald, as well as special messages from Amy Poehler, Wayne Brady, Taylor Kitsch, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie and other celebrity guests.

“Now more than ever, it’s crucial that we come together to support our families and ensure a maintained sense of normalcy as they fight against pediatric cancer,” said Ruth C. Browne, RMH-NY’s president and CEO. “We are committed to providing support and comfort to families dealing with their child’s devastating cancer diagnosis, so that they can focus on receiving life-saving treatment. The funds from our gala will enable us to continue helping families from around the world by keeping them close to each other and the treatment they need.”

You can watch the virtual gala here: https://gala.rmh-newyork.org/

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