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 Quinn Family - Kapiti Coast

Hailing from the Kapiti Coast, Brooke and Marty Quinn are the proud parents of three young children: Braxton, Izzy and now three-year-old Nia, along with their energetic Cavoodle Hughie. Their lives were turned upside down mid 2022 when Nia suddenly became unwell. In her own words, Brooke describes their journey and experience staying at Ronald […]
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The Laurence Family - Waikato

Meet the Laurence's: a family of six living on a dairy farm in the Waikato. Mum Zoe and dad Scott have four children: Grace (eight), Ruby (six), Emmett (three) and 16-month-old Oliver. In March 2023, their world was turned upside down when Grace was diagnosed with leukaemia. They spent one night at Waikato Hospital before […]
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The Ross Family, Hamilton

The Ross family of Hamilton consists of mum Genaia, dad Hamish and three children – adults Hayley and James, and 17-year-old Amy. Hamish works in Land Development and Genaia is a Paediatric Nurse at Waikato Hospital. Amy has a condition called Cystic Fibrosis (CF) that she has been battling since she was diagnosed as a […]
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The Clare Family - Palmerston North

Jonty's Journey:  In the heart of Palmerston North is where the remarkable Clare family live. Mum Kerri, Dad Brendan and wonderful kids: Jonty, Millie and Eliza have a home filled with laughter, love and sense of purpose that has, and will continue to inspire the entire community.   Last year, Jonty with his infectious empathy, embarked […]
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The Holdaway Family - Whangarei

Just north of Whangarei, resides The Holdaway Family whose lives were forever changed in April 2023. Grace and Joshua, along with their four children had been living a peaceful life – Joshua a hard-working labourer and Grace, a dedicated mother and home-school teacher. Little did they know that their lives were about to be turned […]
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Aria’s Christmas Journey: Finding hope at RMHC® New Zealand

For the Tiraha Cook’s, Christmas was always a time filled with laughter, joy, and the warmth of whānau. But little did they know that the Christmas of 2022 would be unlike any they had experienced before, bringing them face to face with the harsh reality of a life-threatening illness.   Meet the Palmerston North  whānau: […]
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The Szczepkowski-Wong Family - Christchurch

Sophie's family lives in the beautiful city of Christchurch. Sophie's mother, Viv, had the fortune of meeting her husband, Arthur, during her time working abroad in South Korea. Their love led them on an incredible journey, taking them to the United States and back to South Korea, where their firstborn, Lucas, came into the world. […]
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Maguire Family - Kaka Point

The Maguire family live in Kaka Point, a small beach town on the Catlins Coast. Mum Bronwyn, a primary school teacher and dad Jade, a builder had their son Bryn in 2020. The family love the beach and spending time with family and friends. Their world was turned upside down when wee Bryn was diagnosed […]
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Davies-Williams Family - Christchurch

Mum Phoebe, dad David and two-year-old Lachie lived in Christchurch where Phoebe was a partner in a law firm and also 34 weeks pregnant, when Lachie became ill. Read their story in Phoebe's own words below. My name is Phoebe Davies and I live in Christchurch with my partner David, our two-year-old son Lachie, and […]
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Danney Family Story - Rotorua

Neeti Masih had never heard about Ronald McDonald House before her family needed the facility, after 13-year-old son Ashmit was admitted to hospital. The family including husband Danney and 18-year-old daughter Osheen stayed at our Grafton Mews location in 2022. Read more about their journey below. Starship Hospital introduced Neeti to Ronald McDonald House when […]
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The Bertola Family - Hawkes Bay

The Bertola family consists of mum Katy, dad Gabriele, four-year-old Giorgia and 10-month-old Florence. Katy is a paediatric occupational therapist, and Gabriele is an electrician who relocated from Italy 11 years ago; they reside in sunny Hawkes Bay. The family stayed at Ronald McDonald House in Wellington when Florence arrived early, at just 26 weeks […]
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The Hollran Family - Te Awamutu

The Hollran family of eight live in the very small town of Kihikihi just outside of Te Awamutu. Mum Awhi and dad Alex have their hands full with six children at home – aged from two to 17-years-old, along with two family dogs. Life in late 2019 consisted of school, sports training, weekend sports and […]
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Passeri Family - Bay of Islands

The Passeri family of Bay of Islands consists of mum Daniela, dad Fred and baby Zavier – their “miracle baby”. Daniela loves being around children – in fact, she decided to change jobs from psychometry to ECE to make it her full-time career. In 2019 the couple began to try for a baby and needed […]
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France family of Cromwell

The France family of Cromwell consists of mum Celina, dad Jonny, Celina’s seven-year-old stepson Mason and twins Bindi Michelle and Fraya Mary Rose, who will be one in November 2022. Celina and Jonny were newlyweds when they found out they were expecting in April 2021 – with twins! The France family are our Christmas 2022 […]
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The Fabulous Four - Wills Family from Napier

Jo Wills and her husband Brett live in Napier with their toddler Peter, their black Labrador Dusky and their recent arrivals – quadruplets who arrived in August of this year. Read their amazing story below. Jo had no idea she was pregnant with four babies until her first ultrasound at eight weeks pregnant. She had […]
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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 Meads Family

“When you think back to a time before RMHC and how parents had to do it - we are just so fortunate to have the support of RMHC” With a house full of bustling boys and another one on the way, the Meads happy little life in rural Rotorua was sent into a tail spin […]
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The Gallagher Family

In October of 2012 the Gallagher family had just returned from holiday when four-year old Joshua complained of a bad headache which continued over the following days. After a visit to the doctor Joshua was referred to an optometrist. On mother’s instinct, Annemarie brought Joshua back for further medical attention which was just as well, […]
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The Buchanan Family

Winsom was only a few months-old when she became noticeably unwell. She began to develop black eyes, became lethargic and stopped eating. Residing in rural Hokianga, worried parents Michelle (mum) and Elai (dad) took baby Winsom to Whangarei Hospital. The doctors there suspected that Winsom had a tumour. The very next morning Winsom and her […]
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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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The Anderson Family

Lochlan (Lochie) Anderson was born at just 28 weeks in August 2007, weighing a tiny 690gms. This was just the beginning of his struggles, at just 22 days old Lochie contracted viral meningitis resulting in a brain bleed, and consequently he was then diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy in 2008. Lochie’s solo mother Sarah faced an […]
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The Ferris Family

“RMH is the best place in the world to be when your world has been turned upside down” When seventeen year old Georgia Ferris gastrointestinal system stopped working in May 2013, Georgia quickly deteriorated and became extremely unwell. In the family’s hometown in Nelson, a multitude of tests were undertaken trying to determine what was […]
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Danney Family Story - Rotorua

Neeti Masih had never heard about Ronald McDonald House before her family needed the facility, after 13-year-old son Ashmit was admitted to hospital. The family...

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The Bertola Family - Hawkes Bay

The Bertola family consists of mum Katy, dad Gabriele, four-year-old Giorgia and 10-month-old Florence. Katy is a paediatric occupational therapist, and Gabriele is an electrician...

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