Meika’s family and friends are her world. She loves being with them and including them in her weird and wonderful potions, mudcakes and creations. One of her favourite things to do is have sleepovers.
This is what kept Meika going when she was receiving chemotherapy for a rare eye cancer. Diagnosed in December 2018, Meika’s parents had no idea what was wrong with their once healthy daughter. At first, doctors suspected it could be a virus, stroke or Bell’s Palsy.
When doctors told nine-year-old Meika’s parents that it was cancer, they were crushed. Treatment started in January and Meika’s mum, gran and siblings moved into Ronald McDonald House. They stayed there full-time, while Meika received chemo and radiation.
As Meika’s mum, Tegan says, “It would have been impossible to make the four-hour trip home as Meika was bedridden and too unwell to travel.” Instead, Meika’s family settled in at Ronald McDonald House where they were able to do all the everyday things families do: cook meals, watch movies, and enjoy free tickets to the zoo or aquarium. Meika’s family became such a part of the House, that Meika’s little brother Archer calls it “home” and it’s where her baby sister first crawled, talked and walked.
On her better days, having her family close by meant Meika could bake with Grandma, play with her siblings and hang out with the friends she’d made in hospital. Friends she still visits every time the family travel back for appointments.
Tegan can’t imagine what life would’ve been like without Ronald McDonald House. “There is no way I could have done it without the support of RMHC. I would have blown up with anxiety and stress. I will be forever grateful.” she says.