Childhood cancer patients at HCTM-UKM can now enjoy more comfortable facilities at Ronald McDonald House
(L-R) Dato 'Yeow Wah Chin, Past Council Chairman, Lions Clubs International Multiple District 308 Malaysia, who is also a Board Member, National University of Malaysia; Dato 'Javern Lim Chong Hee, District Governor, Lions Clubs International District 308B1 Malaysia; YB Mrs Hannah Yeoh, Deputy Minister of Women, Family & Community Development; Azmir Jaafar, President of the Ronald McDonald Malaysia Welfare Association and the Director of Local Operations & Partner, McDonald's Malaysia and Mr. Mohd Nasri Mohd Nordin, General Manager, Ronald McDonald Malaysia Welfare Association during a signing of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Ronald McDonald Malaysia Welfare Association Malaysia (RMHC (Malaysia) and the International Lions Club for the Children's Cancer Awareness initiative.
Ronald McDonald House Charities Malaysia (RMHC Malaysia) and Lions Clubs International signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Childhood Cancer Awareness today. The strategic partnership enables both organisations to work together to meet the needs of childhood cancer patients in Malaysia. This initiative between the two giant non-governmental bodies (NGOs) will directly benefit families of pediatric patients seeking treatment at Hospital Canselor Tuanku Muhriz Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HCTM-UKM), Kuala Lumpur.

Through this partnership, Lions Clubs International will contribute more than RM150,000 to refurbish the Ronald McDonald House at HCTM-UKM. The funds were raised since October last year, specifically for this initiative. This will enable families of pediatric patients seeking treatment at HCTM-UKM, including childhood cancer patients, to enjoy more comfortable facilities while staying at the Ronald McDonald House, which is located on hospital grounds. Ronald McDonald House at HCTM-UKM is one of the core programmes of RMHC Malaysia in making available temporary accommodation for families of the hospital’s pediatric patients.

This strategic partnership will take place over the next three years, and starting today, Lions Clubs International will maintain the children’s playground at the home. The children’s playground will officially be adopted by Lions Clubs International, and will be known as Lions Wonderland.

According to Dato’ Javern Lim Chong Hee, District Governor of District 308B1, Lions Clubs International Malaysia, “Lions Clubs International is always looking for opportunities to collaborate with the right partners in order to improve the lives of childhood cancer patients and their families. We are aware of the difficulties faced and it is our hope that our partnership with RMHC Malaysia will be able to raise awareness among the public about childhood cancer.”

As a teaching hospital with one of its expertise being pediatric medicine, HCTM-UKM receives over 20,000 pediatric cases each year, which include inpatient and outpatient cases. For 2019 alone, HCTM-UKM received more than 900 cases involving childhood cancer. Ronald McDonald House at HCTM-UKM was established in 1999, and since then, it has benefitted over 1,500 families, especially underprivileged families who need long-term care for their children.

According to Azmir Jaafar, President of RMHC Malaysia, “RMHC Malaysia is committed to making a positive impact on children in need through various core programmes. The strategic partnership with Lions Clubs International would be able to provide a higher level of comfort to families staying at Ronald McDonald House at HCTM-UKM. We hope that this collaboration will also motivate Malaysians to continue to support the efforts of non-governmental organisations like us.”

Some of the upgrading works that have been carried out at the Ronald McDonald House at HCTM-UKM over the past two months include repairing and replacing some parts of the roofing and gutters of the building, as well as upgrading of the outdoor activity area. The upgrading of the outdoor activity area saw the beautification of the landscape in the children’s playground, as well as the refurbishment and increase in the number of playground equipment.

YB Hannah Yeoh, Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, who was the guest-of-honour at the event, commended the initiative by RMHC and Lions Clubs International. She also encouraged more people to come forward to implement initiatives that benefit the community.

The Ronald McDonald House at HCTM-UKM celebrated its 20th anniversary last year and was the first of its kind in the ASEAN region when it opened its doors to the public in 1999.

To date, there are two Ronald McDonald Houses in Malaysia. The other home is located at Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (Hospital USM) in Kubang Kerian, Kelantan. The third Ronald McDonald House is expected for completion later this year at Hospital Wanita dan Kanak-kanak Kuala Lumpur.