Easter Seals House has been a home-away-from home for 10 year old Callum and his family for the last few years when Callum comes to Vancouver from the Yukon while he undergoes treatment for epilepsy.
A couple times a year Callum and his mother Marusia, and sometimes his twin sister and younger brother, make the 2400km trek by plane to meet with neurologists and specialists at BC Children’s Hospital. When families get to the point where they have to travel a long way for medical care to meet with doctors and receive treatments that aren’t available to them in the Yukon, they want to know that they can stay in a place that is comfortable, accessible to the hospitals and affordable.
“We’ve been here with Callum and his siblings, and when Callum has appointments at BC Children’s Hospital it’s just two blocks away which is really handy,” mom Marusia says. “Sometimes the waiting time between appointments can be 4 to 5 hours, so having Easter Seals House close by allows us to have a place to come to and allows Callum to have the naps he needs.”
The medication Callum is on currently makes him sleep more than 12 hours a day making it extremely difficult to not have him nap between appointments. And while Callum is sleeping, his siblings can take advantage of the lounges on each floor, which have televisions and fully equipped kitchens.
Easter Seals House has 49 individual double occupancy suites with a full kitchen and is like an apartment in the city. Families like to stay at the House because it also gives them autonomy they may be looking for. They can cook on their own if they have compromised immune systems or special dietary needs. It’s really homey and inviting.
“It would be a totally different experience for us if we were staying in a hotel. Every time we meet a family and have connected with them. We see them around town now and are able to connect with families that are going through a similar situation as us,” Marusia adds. “It’s a wonderful place and we’re very grateful it’s here.”