House Families

The strength and courage of the families that stay with us is an inspiration. Over the years RMHC® New Zealand has welcomed thousands of families from all over New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. In 2020 almost 3,700 families called our Houses home.  There is no better way to understand the value of our House than hearing from the families directly. Some families have shared their story and journey with Ronald McDonald House® below, highlighting the different circumstances which bring them here and what their stay meant to them.

The Montgomerie - Whitton Family Story

Archie Whitton is such a great kid with an extraordinary story. If you saw how he plays around with his brother – it would surprise you to learn he is actually missing one of his feet. Archie wears a prosthetic lower leg … and he wears it very well. His mum Kellie knew this might […]
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Jake and the Pokai Family Story

It was the trip of a lifetime. Jake Pokai saved his paper run money for an entire year. He had been accepted at the prestigious International Rugby Academy of New Zealand – his chance to train and upskill with the best young rugby players in the world. In November last year, 15-year-old Jake flew from […]
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Mason and the Gundry Family

Mason’s face is a masterpiece. His smile is gorgeous. His eyes, bright and full of life. It’s no wonder his little sister Sophie thinks her big brother is officially the coolest person in the entire world. It is just that Mason has a few slight differences in his face that have made a massive difference […]
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The Potatau Cocker Family - Kerikeri

Kelly Potatau received news at a 26 week scan that no parent wants to hear. Her baby had a rare heart condition called Tetralogy of Fallot (TOF) and she would need to travel to Auckland from Kerikeri two weeks before her due date in case of early labour. Being a single mum of three beautiful […]
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The Thompson-Dockery whānau

My family were fighting by my side. Giarni and the Thompson-Dockery whānau As a bubbly eleven-year-old girl Giarni was looking forward to Christmas at home with her whānau. What she didn’t know was that she would be fighting a rare form of cancer a long way from home. But Giarni wasn’t fighting alone, she had […]
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The Wangdali Family - Bay of Plenty

A Big Difference for a Tiny Baby. Little Olivia and the Wangdali Family Gwynn Wangdali was just over halfway through her pregnancy when her waters broke and she went into labour. As a nurse, she knew how dangerously premature her baby would be, at just 24 weeks. Desperate to hold still and delay her baby’s […]
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The Dixon Family - Invercargill

The Worst Pain of All. Ella and the Dixon Family There is a scale for rating pain called the McGill Index. Right at the very top is an agonising condition Ella Dixon from Southland is still working through in her life.* It started with a small rugby injury that got re-tweaked. It was quite minor, […]
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The Huntley Family - Marlborough

Fighting by Manaia’s side  The Huntley family from Marlborough began their journey with RMHC® New Zealand in 2019, when their seven year old son Manaia took a turn for the worse. “One Saturday he’d been staying at a friend’s house and when he got home I just couldn’t get him to wake up properly. He couldn’t […]
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The Chiet Family - Whanganui

Fighting by Jethro’s side  On the day Jethro was born, he also took his first flight. He was rushed from his mum’s bedside in hospital, then flew with his Dad to Wellington Hospital for surgery. The intestine running from Jethro’s stomach was completely blocked. It’s a condition called Duodenal Atresia and it had blown a […]
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The Kareko-Tui Family - Dargaville

Fighting by her little brother’s side. Makai, Amani and the Kareko-Tui Family. Megan Kareko from Dargaville was receiving treatment for stage 3 breast cancer when she found out she was pregnant with her second child. Usually, this is a joyous time, but all Megan felt was sadness and disbelief. Because she thought, “I don’t have […]
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The Gardiner Family - Inglewood

When a family is going through one of the toughest times of their lives, they need a Ronald McDonald House. For the Gardiner family, Ronald McDonald House has truly become their 'home-away-from-home'. For many of the families that stay at a Ronald McDonald House, their first visit is not their last. RMHC New Zealand has […]
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The Lee Family - Feilding

Thanks to you, the Lee family have access to a Ronald McDonald House and the 'home-away-from-home' that they need as they face baby Jaxon’s treatment journey.  Even when you understand your child’s diagnosis, nothing can prepare you for just how challenging their treatment journey can be. Especially when their journey is affected by a global […]
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The Wright Family - Levin

"He was in much more pain..." Can you imagine how difficult it must be to watch your child in pain and be unable to do anything to relieve it? What if a global pandemic played havoc with their treatment journey? This was the reality for the Wright family. When Tracey Whiting and Todd Wright welcomed […]
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The Hayes Family - Masterton

“I didn’t even have an overnight bag!” For the Hayes family from Masterton, everything changed in a matter of hours. So many of the families that stay with us at Ronald McDonald House arrive within only a few hours of a life-changing diagnosis. Can you imagine how much stress that would cause? Suddenly having to worry […]
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The Cooke Family - Porirua

Life for the Cooke family came to an abrupt halt in early 2015 when they found out that Lily was sick. The family immediately flew from their home in Porirua to Christchurch so Lily could receive treatment at Christchurch Hospital. The next few months were spent trekking back and forth between Ronald McDonald House South […]
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The Ward Family - Tauranga

Step by step - how the kindness of RMHC supporters is keeping the Ward family together. Thanks to incredible RMHC New Zealand supporters, the Ward family have a safe, warm place to stay when away from home while they wait for a diagnosis for their child Harry. Following an easy going pregnancy with their first […]
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The Drummond Family - Five Rivers

Running a 1416 hectare farm in Lumsden, Southland, the Drummond family were undaunted by a challenge. At their routine pregnancy scan, Hannah and Craig were informed that their tiny baby potentially had some medical issues - a challenge no family could prepare for. Following her midwife appointment at 33 weeks, Hannah was rushed up to […]
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The London Family - Hamilton

Ronald McDonald House® sees its fair share of fantastic fathers. Matt London is definitely one of them. In February of this year, Matt, his partner Siobhan and their daughters were enjoying their new start in Hamilton when an unexpected phone call changed their course. Their eldest daughter, Florence, had been diagnosed with leukaemia. In less […]
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The Bertelsen-Joyce Family - Taranaki

Five years ago, the Bertelsen-Joyce family from Awatuna, Taranaki had no idea Ronald McDonald House existed. Now, they call it their ‘home-away-from-home’ after staying for over 90 nights. In 2014, 13-year-old Josephine had just started high school. She was a happy student who loved PE and playing her electric guitar but suddenly her world turned […]
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The LaRose Family - Wanaka

Eli LaRose, nine, loves coming staying with RMHC New Zealand when he has to visit Auckland for his regular check-ups. His condition was first discovered in 2011, and since then, he and his family have stayed nearly 300 nights at a Ronald McDonald House. In late 2011, parents Emma and Jason noticed baby Eli wasn’t […]
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The Costello Family - Tauranga

When new parents Anton and Kayla welcomed their little boy Jai into the world, they had no idea RMHC® New Zealand would be their ‘home-away-from-home’ for more than seven years. Back in 2011, Kayla was getting her toddler Jai ready for bed, when he began drawing in air and struggling to breathe. She and her […]
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The Gray Family - Feilding

When the Gray family’s youngest daughter, Tiana, was born in 2010, they knew little about RMHC® New Zealand, and had no idea that their newborn’s journey would mean they’d need the charity’s ongoing support. Early on, parents Jo and Jamie noticed their baby daughter’s leg was bowed. After taking her to see a doctor, Tiana […]
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The Prosser Family

Nelson teenager Beau Prosser says Ronald McDonald House is one of her favourite places. And she should know, the 16 year old has had 26 stays at the House in Auckland since she was 6 weeks old. Beau had a difficult start to life. Mum Katie recalls that doctors predicted Beau wouldn’t survive birth. Much […]
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The Innes Smith Family

The Innes Smith family from Christchurch love celebrating Christmas. Every year, together with their extended family, they enjoy a BBQ in the sun. But last year they couldn’t be home for Christmas. Daughter Holly (then nine) had been receiving special medical treatment at the National Children’s Hospital in Auckland since August, while her parents Debbie […]
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The Allan Family

The Allan family from Whangamata have been staying at Ronald McDonald House in Auckland on and off for more than two years, while 3-year-old Mason receives specialist treatment and awaits a kidney transplant. The family see the House as their 'home-away-from-home' and are grateful their whole family can all stay together while they support Mason. […]
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The Faulkner Family

RMHC New Zealand provides accommodation and support for families with child a in a hospital away from home. Whether it’s a couple of nights or maybe even a year, our Houses become the families’ ‘home-away-from-home’ and help to relieve some of the everyday stresses so they can focus on their child in hospital. Racheal Lincoln […]
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The Rigby Family

Whilst some families are with RMHC New Zealand for many months, or sometimes years, families who stay a shorter length of time are equally appreciative of the accommodation and endless support provided. The Rigby family from Timaru were visiting Wellington when their son Melakai had an asthma attack at 12 years old. He was taken […]
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The Kupa Family

Four-year-old (now six) Caleb Kupa had been having stomach pains for a long time without any diagnosis. He had been in for numerous blood tests without any alarming results. So when mum Rachael took him to Rotorua hospital for faster access to scans, she was sure it couldn’t be anything serious. However, an ultrasound scan […]
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The Dick Family - Invercargill

Invercargill mum of ten, Carla Dick says staying with RMHC® New Zealand has been an incredible gift for her family. She and her husband Grant knew before their youngest son Nathanael was born that he would need a kidney transplant one day. This day came sooner than expected when Nathanael experienced kidney failure at the […]
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The Sim Family

In early 2014, Hazel and Andrew Sim from Napier welcomed Carter into the world. Little did they know the massive journey that this little bundle of joy was about to take them on. Carter was just eight weeks old when the Sim family made their first trip to Ronald McDonald House® in Auckland. Carter had […]
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The Dixon Family

When Hamilton parents Estelle and Nathan Dixon’s little girl was born in June last year, they never envisaged their first Christmas with her would be spent at the hospital in Auckland.  Poppy was just 11 weeks old when mum Estelle noticed something wasn’t right. Poppy’s heart had been beating very hard and soon after, she started […]
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The Bateman Family

A normal day at kindy took a turn for the worse and life for the Bateman family from Palmerston North changed drastically. When playing outside two-year-old Toby picked up a leaf to show his teacher, and when she bent down she noticed that his pupils were different sizes. It didn’t take long before Toby was […]
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The Foreman Family

Bay of Plenty mum Victoria Foreman always knew she would need to give birth to baby Nixon in Auckland. She’d been told Nixon would need to receive specialist treatment for his heart at the National Children’s Hospital. However, it all happened much earlier than expected when Victoria developed severe preeclampsia and was flown to Auckland […]
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The Shury Family

The Shury family from Waitara began their journey with Ronald McDonald House when their twin daughters were prematurely born. Kate and Pete’s girls were delivered at just 29 weeks in Wellington Hospital, more than 350km away from home. After Evelyn and Eloise were born, Kate and Pete stayed at Ronald McDonald House just across the […]
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The Tamihere Family

One family who have become awesome supporters of RMHC New Zealand are the Tamiheres from Kawerau, Bay of Plenty. The tight knit family always stay with RMHC New Zealand whenever Mikaera needs treatment at the National Children’s Hospital. The Tamiheres first arrived at Ronald McDonald House in 2014 after Mikaera underwent a bone marrow transplant. […]
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