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Meet The Barnes Aabo Family, From Cork
Each year hundreds of seriously ill children from across Ireland spend their Christmas in hospital.
The Barnes Aabo family, from Co. Cork, have been one of those families, not for one Christmas, but for two Christmases in a row while Kian was being treated for leukemia in hospital in Dublin.
The Ronald McDonald House means a Christmas together was possible for the Barnes Aabos and many families like them.
This is their story…
“You never expect it’s going to be part of your Christmas, that you’re not going to be at home. And on top of that you’re going to not be at home for a very long time. It’s very upsetting when you get that news.”
“But once we got our head around it and got our plans in place, we realised we’re going to have a nice family Christmas here, with all our new friends and people who understand what we’re going through at The Ronald McDonald House.”
“If you want to find the spirit of Christmas, visit The Ronald McDonald House.”
“We didn’t expect to make so many friends. We didn’t expect to have two amazing Christmas’ like we did have thanks to the House. It makes you feel like you’re not alone.
On top of that, of course, we had to be as close to Kian and we were never more than 3 minutes away.”
“There was always food on the table, there were always cookies in the fridge. You were being brought home. There was never any judgement on how your day had been. And they made sure you felt safe and protected. It also took the hospital out of the equation. “
“The Ronald McDonald House took the awfulness out of our awful situation.”
“There are so many families here at Christmas. It’s a full House. There’s Grannies, Grandads, brothers and sisters. It’s just so nice. Everyone who helps, they just go above and beyond.”
“You feel that hug. You feel so supported. And we will never look back on those two Christmases and not smile thanks to The House.”