Easing holiday stress for families of sick Saskatchewan children

Easing holiday stress for families of sick Sask. children
WATCH: A Wakaw baby is finally getting the chance to really celebrate Christmas.

Thirteen-month-old Tiberius Maraboto is starting to recognize his extended family and spend more time with them.

The Wakaw, Sask., boy has a rare bone disorder known as Apert syndrome and regularly has to stay at Ronald McDonald House Saskatchewan.

Last Christmas was a little difficult for his parents over the holidays.

“Last year, we didn’t even have a semblance of Christmas. He was in the hospital right up until a couple of days before. Once I got home, we did nothing. So it’s been a couple of years since there’s been anything Christmasy going on,” his mother Karen said.

READ MORE: Kamsack family ‘fortunate’ for Ronald McDonald House in Saskatoon

She comes from a Mexican family who enjoys spending several days together around the 25th.

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“That is something that I do that I want to pass on to him. I know most of my family is still back home, but even if it’s just the four of us,” Karen said.

This year Ty will get to celebrate Christmas with his parents and paternal grandmother at Ronald McDonald House after a number of surgeries kept him in Saskatoon for five weeks.

With his maternal grandmother in the city this week, it has already been a more playful December than last.

READ MORE: Calgary family of newborn heart patient helps raise money for Ronald McDonald House

The house has 34 rooms and the charity’s Saskatchewan CEO said it will be full throughout the holidays.

“When families move in, they really become part of our Ronald McDonald House family. So they rely on us. We create relationships with them. Our volunteers support the families in whatever they need while they’re here, but families also support each other,” Ronald McDonald House Charities Tammy Forrester said.

Karen said she hasn’t felt the stress of having to set up and organize her home over the holiday season and is grateful for staff and volunteers making her stay so comfortable at this time of year.