Super Shawn's Squad
Word's from Sara Dube (Shawn's Mom)
Why the RMH is near & dear to our hearts.
My son, Shawn Dube, was born on April 6th, 2014. Everyone was so excited for his arrival. He was the first nephew, grandchild, and son. He appeared to be healthy and happy. At approximately 3 months old we noticed different aspects of his health beginning to decline. He had severe skin rashes, nerve pain, irregular bowel movements, pale, slowing down in growth, and becoming more irritiable. We visited the doctor a number of times, until one day at 5 months old, we noticed a bump in his stomach. We were advised to try a laxative but I had a feeling that something wasn't right. The laxative didn't do anything and after 2 days my husband and I decided to take our son to the SJ Regional Hospital Emergency Department. I had the Triage Nurse feel the bump in his stomach and she immediately took us back even though the Department was completly full. We were told to bring him back in the morning for an Ultrasound. I went by myself and my husband went to work. After our ultrasound, they admitted my son to the Hospital. I called my Husband to tell him we were being admitted and he left work (not realizing he wouldn't be returning for awhile). They admitted Shawn for the entire week. We had no idea what was going on. That Friday they told us that the IWK was expecting us on Monday and that a Nurse would be along shortly to give us gas cards and tell us where to go @ the IWK. It was then that the Nurse told us we would be going to the Oncology Department and we broke down. It was then that we realized what was going on..
Within a week we went from having a stable home to not knowing if our son was going to make it or how we were going to afford being by his side during the fight. We had heard of the RMH before but didn't understand much about it. We spent 2 weeks @ RMH while our son got the official diagnosis of Stage 3 Neuroblastoma, favorable histology, lymph node positive. He had surgery to have biopsies done, and his port put in. He had multiple scans and pokes. At the end of each appointment, we had a home to come back to. It gave us a bit of normalcy to do a load of laundry, make a home cooked meal, watch some TV on the coach, make a cup of coffee, or play in the playroom. Then, the week of his first Halloween, we were admitted to the IWK to start chemotherapy. My Mom took time off work to come down to Halifax with us during his treatment. She stayed for 2 months at the RMH. After 2 rounds of chemo, we were advised the treatment didn't do anything. We were sent home right before Christmas where we threw together our tree and some presents and celebrated what we thought might possibly be his last Christmas. 2 Days before Christmas our son had surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible. They couldnt get it all as it was embedded in his spine.
At his 3 month appointment to the IWK we were told his remaining tumor had shrunk. At his 6 month appointment we were told he was in remission. That was one of the best days of our lives. 3 years later and Shawn is still in remission.
RMH made it financially possibly for my husband, Mother, and I to be there for my son during his treatment/appointments. It also provided us with a safe and calming place to return to after long days at the hospital that felt like home. It had all the ammenities we needed including washers, dryers, beds, bathrooms, showers, meals, fridges, kitchen, living area, playroom, playground, other families in simular situations, crafts, pet therapy, parties, free parking at the IWK, etc.. We will never be able to thank the RMH enough. Being able to give back is something I've wanted to do for a long time and I'm glad that this walk gives our family the opportunity.
On Sunday, June 10th we will be participating in the PJ Walk for Kids in support of Ronald McDonald House Charities® Atlantic and the more than 2,200 Maritime families who they serve each year.
All donations will go directly to the charity and donations over $20 will receive an official tax receipt.
Our fundraising goal will support Maritime families. Please consider sponsoring us to help raise funds for this great cause!