Goodbye British Columbia and hello Alberta! We drove a total of 659km from Kamloops to Revelstoke, Lake Louise, Banff, and Calgary.The drive going into and through the Rocky Mountains was absolutely gorgeous. It was incredible to see the naturally carved landscapes created over the past centuries.
Mark and I stopped at the tourist packed Lake Louise to have a look at it ourselves. The water in the Lake looked so pristine and it was refreshing to dip my feet in it. Then we drove into Banff which was bustling with so many people. Apparently telephone booths still exist in Canada!
In Calgary, we met Sarah who greeted us into the Ronald McDonald House in Calgary. With a new bedroom suite opened recently, the Calgary House can now accommodate 24 families, however the demand is very high as about 100 families are currently on the wait list. To my surprise, the House has incredible community support in that groups providing dinner meals are fully booked all the way into December. Way to go Southern Alberta!
We were introduced to one of the House guests, Timo, whose near two-years-old daughter was diagnosed with leukemia. While holding his newborn child, he was so gracious to speak with us about his story. Timo and his family came to the House from Fort McMurray so that his daughter could undergo treatment at Alberta Children’s Hospital. Despite all the obstacles he had and continues to face, he maintains such amazing positivity. Wishing all the best for you and your family Timo!
There were so many nice surprises that we enjoyed about the Calgary House. I loved the Games Room in the basement which included video games, table games, an arcade, pinball machines, and a jukebox! Coming out of the elevator on the upper floor, we were stunned to see Sully and Mike who both look so cool!
Saving the best for last, Sarah brought us into their top secret Magic Room. For those of you who are unaware, this room is meant to provide joy for the children whenever a milestone is achieved, such as being sent home after great news, or even as a pick-me-up when they are feeling down and need it most. The children get to experience the room’s charm and then are allowed to pick one of the several donated toys as a gift. Although we cannot show you what is inside this Magic Room, what we can tell you is that one kid by the name of Jesse is honoured in it. Jesse had been granted a wish by the Make-a-Wish Foundation and instead of wishing for something for himself, he paid his wish forward for the benefit of the other kids at the House. What an outstanding boy!
Thank you so much Sarah for taking us for the Calgary House tour and sharing such wonderful stories with us! We hope that the House will be approved and fully financed for an expansion in the near future.
Next stops are the Ronald McDonald Houses in Red Deer and Edmonton.