IMAGINE you have just received the worst news possible for any parent: your child is seriously ill and needs lifesaving treatment and you need to relocate your family.
Ronald McDonald House Charities Orange has invited CEOs, senior managers and board members from across the Central West to take part in Walk In My Shoes over a 22-hour period from February 24 at the house.
Three CEOs from Bathurst, Kylie Johnston, Bronwyn Aberley and Karla McDiarmid, will gain an insight into what a family goes through when they are given the news that their child needs specialist and lifesaving care at Orange Hospital.
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Ms Johnston said being part of the fundraiser was about helping others.
"I have a 15-year-old daughter whom we have been on a health journey with for over four years, and I want to be able to help and empower people to know what services are available for them," she said.
Likewise, Ms McDiarmid and Ms Aberley have a personal connection to the charity.
Ms McDiarmid said her business, Macquarie Medi Spa, has supported Ronald McDonald House each year with a donation, but in 2021 it was her own family that needed support.
"My nephew had a serious accident, falling 20-plus metres abseiling in the Blue Mountains, and was airlifted to Sydney Children's Hospital, where he would spend the next three months recovering, and my sister lived at Ronald McDonald House Westmead for three months," she said.
"It was amazing care - a safe place with people to look after her and check in that she was okay on her own in Sydney during COVID in such stressful times; the cooking nights, the knitted gifts and friendly smiles truly helped get my sister through the whole traumatic experience."
Ms Aberley said she also had first-hand experience of the value of Ronald McDonald House Charities to families seeking lifesaving medical treatment for their child.
"I have a close friend whose nephew very recently had a serious accident, and his family stayed at RMHC for many weeks," she said.
During the 22-hour overnight immersive experience, CEOs will cook and serve dinner and breakfast to families and be guided through real life scenarios.
Visit www.ceowalkinmyshoes.org.au/chapter-page/orange-chapter and click on "donate now" to support the Bathurst participants.