Man lends helping hand to struggling parents at local Ronald McDonald House



Posted on October 26, 2012 at 5:59 AM

Updated Friday, Oct 26 at 12:58 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Parents of sick children, especially those fighting a large battle like cancer, can feel a heavy burden when caring for their kids.

No one knows that hurt better than parents like Kathy Leduc, who uses the Ronald McDonald House in Spokane.

Leduc and her six-year-old daughter Gabby are staying at the Ronald McDonald House while Gabby goes through intense chemotherapy treatments.

“We needed to get the fever taken care of because she had a dance recital that weekend. I took her in, thinking it was strep. They sent us in for blood work, and by 1:30, we were told she had leukemia,” she said. “I won’t allow myself to sit and think about it because once you start crying, you might not stop.”

Despite her overwhelming feelings, there is one place Leduc allows herself to sit: Nick Chun’s massage chair.

Chun volunteers his services every Thursday to give parents like Leduc a break.

“They say thank you, obviously because it feels good, but they also say, ‘I think I can sleep tonight. The stress is off me now,’” Chun says.

Just minutes in the chair gives parents more hope and the strength to keep fighting the battle of a lifetime.

“That’s the one time I can take 15 minutes for myself. I don’t have to feel guilty about having 15 minutes,” Lenuc says.

Chun insists he gets the most out of the experience. Seeing the pain, the stress and the heartbreak melt away, if even for a moment, makes him feel better too.

“If I’m feeling good, then that means I’m more relaxed and I can project that on her. Then she’s more relaxed. It’s a better treatment for her.”

Gabby is in the most intense part of her chemotherapy. Leduc and her husband say Gabby's spirit is bright. The family hopes to return home to Kalispell after Christmas.