Western Quebec families caught in the storm

On any given day, hundreds of children from west Quebec, families from Gatineau, Buckingham, Wakefield, Maniwaki and Shawville to name but a few of the communities, pour through the doors of CHEO. These children are accessing services ranging from emergency care to specialized dentistry and state-of-the-art diagnostic tests to routine yet efficient day surgery or life-saving neurological surgery. The Quebec and Ontario governments have established agreements on levels of service and funding so that families can access the best medical care available in their region regardless of provincial borders. CHEO is very much the pediatric hospital of the National Capital region.

Although Roger’s House was conceived to support these families being served by CHEO, and built on the same campus so that children with life-limiting illnesses could receive pediatric respite and palliative care in a seamless and non-disruptive fashion, Quebec families cannot benefit from services provided by the house. Currently, the inter-provincial agreements that allow Quebec families to make use of CHEO do not extend to hospice care, the type of service provided by Roger’s House to the families of Ontario. Hospice service is available in Montreal. West Quebec families can opt to travel to Montreal for services but most decline this option, choosing instead to struggle at home. This places great strain on the family, the marriage and siblings.

All families who come to Roger’s House must already be served by the CHEO palliative care team. Imagine the family from Aylmer, Que., that is confronting the most difficult challenge a family could ever be asked to face, and then they are told they cannot access the best support the region has to offer in a place and environment in which they have already come to rely on and trust.

Roger’s House and the Sens Foundation believe strongly that while continuing to vigorously address this issue at the government funding level, west Quebec families cannot continue to be denied the services they deserve.

The board of directors at Roger’s House has requested and the Sens Foundation board has readily accepted to provide an additional $50,000 funding per year to ensure that the House can provide at least 100 days of respite and palliative care service per year to the families of west Quebec.

An opportunity exists for a donor or several donors to ensure children and their families living in west Quebec are not caught in the storm.

By pledging a minimum of $25,000, and up to $50,000 per year for three consecutive years, a donor or several donors will eliminate this unfair and untenable situation while giving families in the Gatineau and Pontiac regions the support they urgently require.