Building strong communities by giving back is an integral part of Graham’s culture. We find ways to support people when they need it most. Recently Gracorp Properties (our real estate development arm), along with our Calgary Buildings team, delivered the beautiful new luxury ARIA apartments, located in the University District. When we heard the Ronald McDonald House (RMHC) Alberta, located across the street from ARIA, needed additional space for a few families that couldn’t safely stay in their communal environment, we were eager to help.
With support from Gracorp, earlier this year three RMHC families were provided an ARIA suite to stay in while their child went through treatment. Amanda and Chris Butler were one of the families who stayed there with their daughter Frankie, who was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer when she was six months old. After staying in the ICU at Frankie’s bedside for the first initial days, Amanda and Chris were referred to the Ronald McDonald House. When it came time for Frankie’s high-dose chemotherapy, Gracorp helped provide the Websters with a private family ARIA suite, adjacent to the Ronald McDonald House and the Alberta Children’s Hospital.
“We were shown the space and completely blown away,” Amanda says. “It was so lovely to have natural light, a beautiful modern space, lots of amenities close by, and during COVID-19 a safe, private place just for us – it’s a situation no one ever wants to be in, but this place was just so perfect.”
Amanda explains that about one week every month Frankie would be out of the hospital, and to have non-communal space available with an immunocompromised child gave her peace of mind. The ARIA suite not only allowed Amanda and Chris a comfortable place to sleep, but the beautiful space helped them take care of themselves so they could better care for Frankie. For Amanda and Chris, the ARIA suite gave them a quality of life that can’t be overstated.
“After a long day at the hospital, going down to the gym to do a quick run on the treadmill, or popping into Save- On Foods to get some fresh fruit, or heading over to the Ronald McDonald House for a prepared meal – kept us happier and healthier for our daughter,” says Amanda.
So far, Gracorp has helped three RMHC families stay in the ARIA suits for nearly 200 nights. We’re honoured to help families like the Butlers and continue to look for ways to give back to our communities and families in time of need.