Family with little girl battling cancer seeks Edmonton home

The family of a little girl battling cancer in Edmonton is looking for a new place to live
Boniface Mgonja and his daughter Michelle share a meal at Edmonton's Ronald McDonald House where the family is staying while Michelle undergoes treatment for leukemia. The family is looking for a new home.

The family of a little girl battling cancer in Edmonton is looking for a new place to live.

Boniface Mgonja lived in Edmonton from 2006 to 2010 while studying and teaching at the University of Alberta. His youngest daughter, Michelle, was born in Edmonton but after the family moved back to Tanzania, they learned the little girl had leukemia.

"When this happened we had to leave everything," said Mgonja. "They told us when she was diagnosed, they said, 'If you stay here, you're not going to have a month with Michelle.'"

The family moved back to Edmonton for treatment at the Stollery Children's Hospital and has been living in one room at the Ronald McDonald house.

"I'm believing that God will give them a big Christmas miracle," said Louise Solbrekken, a friend of the family who is trying to help them.

Members of their local church have set up a Facebook page to help with the search.

So far, the family has been given money and furniture — but they still need a place to call home.


  • An earlier version of the story reported that the family had to leave Ronald McDonald House by Sunday. Martin Dugas, CEO of Ronald McDonald House Northern Alberta, says deadlines are never placed on families. “We do have a policy that as long as your child is in active treatment you can stay as long as you want.” Dugas said he spoke to Boniface Mgonja who said it was his goal to leave by Dec. 1. Mgonja didn't see it as a deadline. “The only deadline imposed for the family to leave was self-imposed,” Dugas said. “I think that was a goal to transition into next of stage of life.”
    Nov 27, 2013 2:35 PM MT


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