Karen and Steve Mahon know first hand the difference the B.C. Children’s Hospital makes in the lives of sick children and their families.
Afterall between April and November 2010, they estimate they spent 53 nights there with their 15-year-old son Gregorson (now 17) as he underwent 30 chemotherapy treatments and three surgeries to successfully treat Stage 4 testicular cancer.
For the Mahons, the first sign that anything was wrong was during the Christmas holiday of 2009 says mom, Karen. Her son complained of back pain, which was initially attributed to scoliosis, a curvature of the spine.
However, when the pain moved to his stomach he underwent further testing that revealed the cancerous tumours. He was flown to Vancouver for care at B.C. Children’s Hospital the next day.
Despite the circumstances, Karen and Steve say what they noticed immediately was how wonderful the staff were.
“The minute you walk through the door everything is taken care of. You feel your kid is the only patient. It’s amazing the care you and your child receive,” Karen, a breast cancer survivor, says.
That’s precisely why the Mahons want to give back to B.C.’s only dedicated hospital for children. They know from experience the facility is in need of replacement, and that state-of-the-art equipment and the many elements that allow kids to be kids while receiving treatment are critical to the long-term well being of the young patients.
It was in late 2010 when Steve struck on the idea of building a home that could be sold with profits going toward the hospital. It was a good fit as the Mahons, owners of Macon Construction Ltd., were certain they wanted to give back to the organization that had made such a difference in their lives.
Each contributor to the home’s construction has the opportunity to determine how they would like their donation to the hospital be spent.
“It’s been so easy in terms of getting people on board,” says Steve of the experience of working with community members, businesses, contractors and tradespeople.
“It will go as a donation from Williams Lake.”
When complete near the end of this year the rancher located at 122 Eagle Cres. will be 1,323 square feet on the main floor. Mahon says the interior will utilize materials such as tile, hardwood, and carpet. It will be a certified Energuide home that utilizes the latest insulation material — insulated concrete foundation. There will also be a 200-square-foot covered deck.
He’s unsure of what the final asking price will be as the details of the home’s interior may be subject to change.
Gregorson is now in remission and back at home in Williams Lake. He will return to the hospital for checkups every few months and will be declared cancer free in five years. Gregorson is back at school and graduates in 2012.
Individuals who want to donate to B.C. Children’s Hospital through the home-building project can do so at Scotia Bank in Williams Lake.
There are official plans to renovate the hospital’s existing facilities.
According to the B.C. Children’s Hospital’s website, the first phase of the B.C. Children’s and the B.C. Women’s Hospital redevelopment got underway in September 2010.
The three-phase project will see the construction of a major new acute care, including a new emergency department, a sterile processing department, medical imaging department, a new 70-bed neonatal intensive care unit and labour/delivery suite, a 28-bed pediatric intensive care unit, and three floors of private rooms for inpatients, including one floor for a 27-bed oncology unit with adjacent oncology outpatient programs.