Ethan Lauro, smiling to camera with his dog

The Lauro Family Story

In the Southwest region of Western Australia, 222 kms away from Perth is the beachside city of Busselton. It Is here that Alan, Cassandra, and Ethan (18 years) call home.

In 2007, when Ethan was only 3 years old, he was diagnosed with a medulloblastoma, one of the three most common cancers amongst children under the age of 3. After learning of his diagnosis, Cassandra and Ethan were airlifted to Princess Margaret Hospital for immediate treatment, whilst Alan packed the families’ belongings and made the 2.5-hour drive to Perth so their family could be together.

The family had no idea that from this moment forward, their lives would forever be changed, and that Perth would become their temporary home.

Ronald McDonald House Charities WA (RMHC WA) provided a home away from home for the Lauro family so they could be together throughout Ethan’s medical journey. The family stayed in WA’s first Ronald McDonald House on York Street in Subiaco for eleven months while Ethan was going through treatment.

“For Alan and myself, Ronald McDonald House was like a lighthouse. We found ourselves in a scary situation that was out of our control, especially during moments when the need for a beacon of light to guide us through the darkness during troubled times. Having a place to belong created stability, guiding us with compassion and strengthening our faith made our stay at the house unforgettable.”Ethan in hospital but happy and having fun in hospital

Ethan’s medical journey was remarkable, his family were told to prepare for any possible outcome and were blessed that Ethan responded well to treatment.

“The warmth and love we experienced from staff and volunteers, surrounded by families whom have been through a similar experience. A place we built friendships and leant on each other for support, and food, glorious food to warm our souls cooked with so much love” says Cassandra, “The eleven months we experienced at Ronald McDonald House York Street was and always will be our light house away from home.”

Ethan now 18, healthy and smiling to camera

Fast forward, Ethan is now 18 years old having a bit of a gap year working as a lifeguard at the local pool during the week and volunteering his time on the weekends as a beach lifesaver for his local Busselton Surf Club. He is also continuing his training with running, riding and swimming getting ready for the ride in May.

Ethan is an active, conscientious and passionate young man who, driven by the support that RMHC WA provided his family all those years ago, has set out to make a difference this year by competing in the 2023 Ride For Sick Kids, raising money for children who are sick or injured and their families who are supported by RMHC WA’s programs and services.

From May 4 to 7, Ethan will ride over 450 kms throughout the Southwest with a peloton of forty riders, to raise funds and awareness of RMHC WA and the vital work they do to provide a home away from home for families like his throughout Western Australia.

The Lauro family are living happily in beachside Busselton and, fifteen years later, are still avid supporters and friends of RMHC WA, who will always be there to support the Lauro family whenever they need it.