Meet Emily & Penelope

Penelopy at the Family Retreat in Forster

Penelopy at the Family Retreat in Forster


Emily and her daughter Penelope know how incredible Ronald McDonald House Charities is for families. It’s more than just a House. It's comfort, support and care giving families hope and courage.

When Penelope was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in 2016, mum Emily felt so alone and isolated.  Being hours away from home and separated from loved ones, Emily was able to call Ronald McDonald House ‘home’ while Penelope received treatment and now when they have to return for checkups and scans. Emily was so glad to have a change of scenery from the ward and a hot cup of coffee while visiting the Ronald McDonald Family Room in the hospital.

Penelope, now almost 2, is in remission and their family has had the opportunity to stay at the Ronald McDonald Family Retreat in Forster. Having spent the majority of her childhood in and out of hospital the Family Retreat has given them a chance to really relax and unwind together as a family. ‘It has made me learn to stop and take everything in from Penelope’s perspective.  It’s so wonderful that she is able to get outside and play like a regular toddler.’

Families just like Emily’s are able to access support and comfort through the Houses, Family Rooms, Family Retreats and the Learning program across Northern NSW, thanks to the generosity of our supporters.