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  • Crystal Leonardi

Tiffany - The Perfect Storm


They say 'timing is everything' and this week, we demonstrated a lack of perfect timing to perfection. It was the perfect storm... Tropical Cyclone Tiffany, COVID-19 outbreaks and a trip to Brisbane. We made it safely to Brisbane however and life continues at a rapid pace.


Sebastian and I have returned to QLD Children's Hospital this week for his scheduled MRI, blood tests, RAT and Oncology review. For the first time in a year, we're staying at Ronald McDonald House (RMH) in an effort to have as little contact with the general public. Staying here means no hospital transfers, no eating out and basically no physical contact with anyone other than hospital staff.


It's been really nostalgic being back here at RMH, and surprisingly comforting. The last time we stayed here, Sebastian was just a baby and reduced to a somewhat vegetative state after undergoing brain surgery, followed by meningitis and the commencement of intensive chemotherapy. He really didn't understand much of what was going on at the time so RMH acted as a sanctuary for Sam and I. A place to call home for many many months while Sebastian was still so unwell.


When we arrived yesterday, the familiarity of the place only brought back fond memories for me and a new adventure for Sebastian. He was excited by every 'magic door' (card activated automatic doors), lift button, and all the bright colours of this amazing place.


I was also reminded of the generosity of the human spirit and the overwhelming support we continue to receive, as a family of a sick child. I finally met the wonderful Justine Christerson who volunteers her time transporting families to and from the airport to their accommodation and/or hospital, as well as gifting these families with care packages. She began the program 'Breaking Down the Barriers for Rural Patients in City Hospitals - Brisbane', in 2012 when a friend from rural QLD had a son who was diagnosed with a brain tumor and was required to relocate to 'the big smoke' to receive treatment.


She is one of the many outstanding QLDer's who have made every step of the way just that little easier for us. Taking away the burden and stresses of the mundane that all of a sudden become super overwhelming, when you're delivered a devastating diagnosis like Sebastian's.


If you'd like to donate to the Ronald McDonald House Charities or any of the other not-for-profit organizations that have helped us, check out the Sharing the Love page on my website www.crystalleonardi.com or to find out how you can help Justine at Breaking Down the Barriers for Rural Patients in City - Brisbane, by emailing ruralpatient@gmail.com.

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