Photo of the Rameka Family

Rameka Family Story

Each year 2,000 families from across WA with seriously ill or injured kids will reach out to Ronald McDonald House Charities WA (RMHC WA) for support to access medical treatment in Perth.

While in Perth, RMHC WA will be a home away from home, keeping the whole family together, until they can return back to their community.

For resilient Kalgoorlie families like the Rameka’s, RMHC WA made a significant difference during the most difficult time of their lives.

Mikaylah Rameka is 3 years old. It was not long after her 3rd birthday that Mikaylah’s parents, Julia and Shaun noticed their very active child, was suddenly “off balance” and was having trouble walking.

At first her parents thought it was an ear infection, but a CT scan and subsequent MRI and lumbar puncture showed it was something much more serious.

Mikaylah had cerebellitis: swelling on her cerebellum because of an infection her body couldn’t fight. Mikaylah’s symptoms became so serious that at one point she was unable to walk more than a few steps.
In December 2020, the family travelled to Perth where Mikaylah needed to spend more than a month at Perth Children’s Hospital for occupational therapy, speech pathology and physiotherapy rehabilitation.

Rameka SiblingsMikaylah, Kayson (her brother), Julia, and Shaun were kept close together during this difficult time, and were supported by RMHC WA for 53 nights across various stays.

With the pressure of finding accommodation removed, the family were able to focus on helping Mikaylah recover.

“We didn’t realise or ever think that one day we would be actually supported by Ronald McDonald House,” says Julia.

“The House provided much more than we could have expected and always made it a really nice, friendly place to be going through our journey.

For families in Kalgoorlie and all regional areas it is great to know there is a place to be able to stay with a great friendly, caring atmosphere no matter what your family is going through, whether it’s long or short term,” says Julia.

This year, RMHC WA is proudly celebrating 31 years of supporting WA families with seriously ill children, after introducing the very first Ronald McDonald House in Subiaco in 1990.

The House is a home away from home, providing over 2,000 WA families with seriously ill children, like the Rameka’s, with supported accommodation every year.