Family fundraising for Ronald MacDonald House

Further down the Coorong, Michael and Wonita Greenwood from Meningie have been busy fundraising for an extremely important cause.

Michael and Wonita have signed up to participate in the annual 'Plunge Challenge' for Ronald McDonald house in Adelaide. On October 18, the couple will abseil down the Westpac building from the 34th storey.

The couple have been motivated to do this after their family went through a difficult period a few years ago, with their son Doug diagnosed with a form of eye cancer at two-and-a-half years old in 2015.

Following the diagnosis, Doug's eye was removed through surgery, and Michael and Wonita were told by their doctors that they were confident they had eradicated all of the cancer cells following the surgery in October 2015.

In February the following year, the couple noticed that Doug's empty eye socket was showing some troubling symptoms, with bruising starting to show around his eyes and nose.

Doug had just turned 3 when Michael and Wonita took him back to the hospital, and their doctor delivered the devastating news that he had five more tumours growing around his eye socket and in the bone at the back of the socket.

It was from that moment that the family moved to Adelaide and lived in Ronald McDonald House while their son underwent chemotherapy and multiple surgeries, followed by radiotherapy at the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Doug is now 6 years old and does not have an artificial eye yet, with Wonita telling the Leader that Doug will need major surgery on his face to reconstruct that area of his eye in order to fit an artificial eye into the empty socket. Wonita said she and Michael wouldn't proceed with this until Doug is old enough to understand.

"All money raised through the Plunge Challenge will go straight to the Ronald McDonald House - which we called home for most of 2016, that is the reason why we are doing it," Wonita said.

"We have created an online page on Facebook and shared it around - we have generated over $4000 already, we haven't actively been fundraising as such but in a nutshell that is what we have done so far."

Wontina mentioned how grateful her family is for the support shown throughout the Meningie community who have donated to the cause since day one, fundraising for Doug throughout this difficult period.

Wonita also spoke about how people can make a difference and support Ronald McDonald House, explaining the avenues people can take to become involved. People volunteer at the house 24 hours a day, with Wonita also mentioning the meal program people can contribute to.

"In regard to the Ronald McDonald house, there are a variety of roles that people can play as they are always looking for volunteers to help out," Wonita explained.

"When we lived in Adelaide every week there would be an organisation coming into the house to cook meals in the kitchen for the families living there."

Wonita and Michael believe the challenge will be a great way to raise a substantial amount of money for the house and support affected families in the future, with 100 more people abseiling on the day and raising money for the same cause.

The couple encourage people far and wide to donate to the Ronald McDonald House through the website: as every donation will go directly to the house to make a difference.

Everyone is welcome to watch the challenge at the Westpac building in Adelaide on October 18.