DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — A Canadian family is getting a helping hand from Ronald McDonald House Charities as their 4-year-old daughter stands up to cancer.
“She was just not herself. We kept saying this is not our kid. She was missing,” said Ann Grills, Hanna Laitila’s mom.
On June 18th, Hanna’s life changed forever. After weeks of feeling ill, her family said they were told her symptoms could be the result of a stomach bug.
“We were hoping that because it wasn’t happening quickly that maybe it wasn’t that serious,” Grills said.
Unfortunately, it was the opposite. Doctors found a tumor on Hanna’s brain, and she was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer. They decided to treat her with proton therapy radiation to reduce harm to surrounding cells. But because proton therapy won’t be available in Canada for 3-5 years, she’s being treated at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Liberty Center.
During her 6 weeks in Ohio, her family is getting support from the Ronald McDonald House of Dayton.
Margaret Grills, Hanna’s grandmother said, “I will never be able to thank them enough. Every need is met. There are so many times we think ‘oh we’ll make this tonight’ and we come home and dinner is ready. It just relieved so much pressure.”
The Ronald McDonald House provides a convenient living space for families with all expenses paid with community support.
“The smiles on their faces even when they’re having their toughest days is heartwarming,” said Erika Ward, the donor relations manager for Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Through the “Give a little love” campaign,” you can help support families like Hanna’s. Donations provide more than a place to rest, they provide a house of hope.
“To imagine being in a hotel room right now and isolated. Umm it would make this journey so so much harder,” said Ann.