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WARMINGTON: Unvaxed Furgason family move from Ronald McDonald House

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The bad news is that four-year-old leukemia patient Jack Furgason and his family are leaving Vancouver’s Ronald McDonald House.

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The good news is that they have a new location that doesn’t require the Kelowna family to get vaccinated.

“Things are going well,” Austin Furgason, Jack’s father, said Thursday. “We have found a place at the House of Easter Seals.”

It turns out to be a kind of win-win. Ronald McDonald House can maintain its new mandate and the family that chooses not to comply has found alternative accommodation.

Vancouver’s Ronald McDonald House has given the family until the end of the month to get vaccinated or face eviction from the facility they had been staying in since October to adhere to new vaccination protocols.

Fortunately, another home that helps families with a hospitalized child stepped in to make sure there was no additional stress for the Furgasons. The family will first return home to Kelowna for a week, then move into their new temporary digs when they return.

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“Easter Seals House is a place to stay when traveling to Vancouver for medical treatment and appointments,” the Easter Seals House website states. “Suites are also available for respite for parents and families who need a place to stay to relax and rejuvenate.”

While there are strong opinions on both sides of this story, it’s important to keep in mind that there is no villain here. Ronald McDonald House has always provided exceptional support to families and has guidelines in place as it deems necessary to ensure the safety of all their guests. The Furgasons were right to be surprised by something introduced as they focused on Jack’s life-saving treatment.

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A strong religious family was true to its values ​​and only heard of the rule change through a distributed letter. Austin, his wife Lindsay and their two-year-old son Lewis have seen their lives turned upside down both by Jack’s illness and by this unexpected disruption.

“When I posted it, I had no idea it would be picked up by so many people,” Austin told me, referring to a GoFundMe campaign started by a friend to highlight the plight of his family.

It was a story heard and reacted to around the world. Austin and Lindsay were also surprised and grateful for the over $ 155,000 donated Thursday afternoon.

While many help the family with donations, others have also contacted the Toronto sun expressing support for the Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver.

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The family “declare themselves martyred because they do not want a vaccine that they are unable and unable to understand will end this pandemic,” said Stan Ouimet. “Be part of the solution, not the problem. No sympathy on my part.

But Patricia Eipl wrote: “As a mother, I feel like she is being denied the comfort and care that this brave young man needs. He needs his family.

This last point is the most important.

While it’s true that Jack’s treatment has been a major distraction this week, starting next week a whole new approach is taking place and the Fergusons can focus on getting him back to good health.

jwarmington@postmedia.com

twitter.com/joe_warmington

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