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The Family Room's Angel

There’s a room in the Ronald McDonald Family Room, Southland hospital that has a special place in the McRae family’s hearts.

Room 3 is now known as ‘Henry’s Room’ after Justine and Tim McRae, along with their family and friends, raised over $12,000 to sponsor it for the next two years in memory of their beautiful boy Henry.

Justine and Tim stayed in room 3 in 2016 – when Henry was just eight days old – for 13 nights, before they were transferred to Auckland for his treatment.

Justine says being able to stay close to Henry meant so much to her and Tim.

“It was absolutely amazing – it literally took thirty seconds and I was in Henry’s room,” Justine says.

“The Ronald McDonald Family Room is so special to us.”

The McRae’s fundraiser began when Justine went into “full declutter mode”, and a therapeutic exercise turned into a garage sale of epic proportions, with all proceeds going to the Family Room.

“We thought if we have things that someone could cherish at the other end and wanted to pay money for, why don’t we give that locally – and the place that made sense was the Family Room,” Justine says.

The McRae’s family and friends pitched in to help with everything from setting up on the day, to dropping off leftover goods to the hospice. Justine says it was incredibly humbling that people would give so much to a place so special to them.

“Once the word got out, it went from what I imagined – making maybe $1,000 – to out of control.

“We raised $5,000 from the garage sale and $7,500 from auction and raffle items. It was more work than we anticipated, but it was all worth it because it went to such an amazing cause.”

When it came to designing the plaque for the room, Henry’s brother, Angus (age 4) got his creativity flowing.

“Henry’s comforter was an elephant so Angus thought it would be cool to have that on there – but then the elephant needed some friends, so we have a lion and a giraffe too,” says Justine.

Our sincere gratitude goes to the McRae family – and everyone who supported their fundraiser – for donating so generously to the Ronald McDonald Family Room, Southland Hospital. Thank you!


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