Meet Ailish Slaney and Her Family from St. Lawrence



It is hard to put into words how a parent feels when their child has been diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. It has to be one of the darkest places a parent can go. For families who don’t live close to the care and resources they need, there is an added stress, distance. RMHC gives families with a sick child what they need most – each other.

At the young age of seven, Ailish Slaney of St. Lawrence was diagnosed with Medulloblastoma, a cancerous brain tumor. For the Slaney Family, parents Rodney and Cathy and big sister Abigail, they were now faced with a challenging road ahead. One filled with long drives, hospital stays, and chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Something no parent can prepare for. They worried about numerous things, even the simple things, like where they would stay.

Shortly after Ailish’s diagnosis they were introduced to the staff, programs and services of the Ronald McDonald House.

“It was certainly a bright light in a world that was surrounded by darkness. From they very first day during our tour, our family started to feel the sense that all was not lost and that things were going to be alright.” Rodney Slaney

At first Ailish’s treatments were long, then, after a few weeks, the hospital granted them a weekend to return home to St. Lawrence – nearly a four hour drive away. However, they arrived home, it wasn’t the relief they expected.

“Once we arrived to our home in St. Lawrence we quickly realized we had made a mistake. We all missed the sense of security and hope that we felt at the Ronald McDonald House. That weekend we decided that we would stay at Ronald McDonald House for the duration of Ailish’s treatments simply because of the close proximity to the hospital and the feeling of hope we felt while we were there. We have no doubt that Ronald McDonald House was a major contributor in Ailish’s recovery. We were better rested and able to fully support Ailish. While staying at RMHC we felt emotional support from other families staying there, the staff and the many volunteers.” Rodney Slaney

While Ailish’s journey was difficult for the entire family, the Slaney Family has found strength at Ronald McDonald House.

“Everything we experienced at Ronald McDonald House was above and beyond any expectations we had at the time. The Home for Dinner Program, the Magic Room and the Quilt Programs were definitely three of our favorites. To see a sick child’s eyes fill with delight as they receive a new quilt or gift from the magic room truly did our heart a world of good.” Rodney Slaney

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