Tiffany Brinston of Labrador City has a great reason to lace up her running shoes and head to the Glad Tidings Church on Sept. 21.
Brinston and her husband, Paul Brinston, will be taking part in the Red Shoe Crew-Walk for Families. The annual fundraiser, in support of Ronald McDonald House Charities NL (RMHC-NL), takes place in dozens of communities throughout the province.
The Brinstons have an 11-year-old son, Seth (Tiffany’s stepson), a five-year-old-son, Deegan, and a baby girl, Alexis, who was born on June 20.
Six months into her most recent pregnancy, Brinston was admitted into the Labrador West Health Centre, where she spent two weeks being treated for kidney problems. A week after she was discharged, she travelled to St. John’s for medical appointments.
“I have Lupus (a chronic autoimmune disease)...so I was a high-risk pregnancy,” she said during a recent phone interview.
While in the province’s capital city, Brinston started having more problems and ended up spending another two weeks in hospital, where doctors treated her for kidney failure.
“I was in and out of the hospital (in St. John’s) for the remainder of my pregnancy,” she said.
Brinston said it was “a huge relief” to move into Ronald McDonald House. It’s where she, Paul and Deegan spent the last few weeks of her pregnancy.
“They have absolutely everything you could need there,” she said.
A short walk from the Health Sciences Centre and Janeway Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House provides a home for families of sick children being treated at the Janeway.
“We spent a lot of time downstairs in the common area because of my little boy. (Deegan) would want to play with all the kids, which was really nice after being stuck in a hospital with us for weeks...we got to meet a lot of people and share different stories,” she said.
While staying at Ronald McDonald House, she was impressed to see so many volunteers and various groups coming in to prepare meals, to bake and offer help in numerous other ways.
“It’s incredible the amount of support that goes into that house...and the staff are there for anything that you might need,” she said.
Although the three months leading up to their daughter’s birth were stressful, staying at Ronald McDonald House brought with it a feeling of security knowing the hospital was just a stone’s throw away.
“One night, I started having a lot of pain. We just grabbed a wheelchair and walked over to the hospital...which was great,” she said.
Alexis tipped the scales at 6 pounds, 11 ounces when she was born.
She is a perfectly healthy baby, her mother said.
Brinston’s kidney issues also cleared after the birth.
Brinston encourages people to support the Red Shoe Crew–Walk for Families.
“The support here has been really good. We are a tight-knit community,” she said.
Those walking in Labrador West event will gather at Glad Tidings Church. Registration begins and noon, with the walk starting at 1 p.m. on Sept. 21.
For more information on Ronald McDonald House NL, visit www.rmhcnl.ca