Ryder's Story

Despite being more than 700km from the comfort of home, Ryder and his family have found all the support they need at Ronald McDonald House.

Ryder & Ollie

Ryder's Story

Fighting a winning battle

Life for this rural family has recently taken a number of unexpected twists and turns. From the solitude of their cotton station in NSW, to the bustling corridors of Ronald McDonald House Randwick in Sydney, it’s been a busy time.


When Ryder, 8, was suddenly diagnosed with leukemia, his family didn’t hesitate in uprooting their lives to be with their son as he underwent treatment at the Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick.

The relocation nine and half hours away from their home meant finding somewhere in Sydney to stay. Securing a place at Ronald McDonald House Randwick has allowed Chris and Sammi to remain with Ryder and their younger son, Ollie, aged three.
“We’re so lucky – we’d be so stuck without it,” says Sammi.

Despite his ordeal, Ryder has flourished at Ronald McDonald House. “The school holidays have been great because everyone’s brothers and sisters came to visit,” she says.

What’s more, Ryder was able to continue his schooling while undergoing treatment. Sammi explains, “He attended the hospital school where he made a lot of friends and those in charge of education at RMHC were always checking in – he didn’t fall behind so that’s been amazing.”

With a reprieve from the hospital on the horizon, the family are looking forward to going home – even just for a few days. “We’ll be between the hospital and the Ronald McDonald House on and off for two and a half months,” explains Sammi. “Eventually Ryder will be on maintenance tablets at home for 18 months and hopefully this will be the end of this chapter in our lives.”

Original story written by Alana Wulff | Photography: Gem Studio Photography
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