The debate surrounding McDonald's restaurants and their impact on children can be a negative one, but in a corner of Crumlin Hospital, McDonalds helps to provide a vital support to some of the very sickest children.
In the Ronald McDonald House, families from all over Ireland avail of modern, comfortable long stay accommodation, while their children are receiving treatment for serious illnesses such as cancer and leukaemia. For these families, the accommodation units are vital in helping them establish a home from home for what can be the most stressful period of their lives.
The house is owned and run by The Ronald McDonald House Charity Ireland. With annual running costs of approximately €300,000, over 65% of funding comes through McDonald’s in the form of donations by customers, as well as owners of McDonald’s restaurants and their suppliers. A large part of the funding is raised by families and friends of those who have stayed in the house, along with other special fundraising events during the year.
In this documentary, we meet the families and hear about the incredible camaraderie between parents staying at the house, the resilience displayed by children going through life threatening illness, and the volunteer work by staff who cook and clean for families on site and provide comfort for them during their lowest ebbs.
The documentary takes the listener onto the hospital wards where parents face daily struggles, as well as the school in Crumlin Hospital where children continue with their education during their illness. We hear also about some of the overnight conditions that parents who don't manage to get into the Ronald McDonald House facility are faced to deal with.
Produced and narrated by Brian O'Connell
Production Supervision by Sarah Blake
Sound supervision by Anton Timoney
First broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 on Saturday 9th July 2011 @ 2pm
An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries.