B.K. KEE PATIENT HOUSE
Located in Chiang Mai, the B. K. Kee Patient House is part of the BCMF Foundation. It’s often described as a much smaller-scale version of the Ronald McDonald House program, which shares a common goal to keep children and families together when facing a health crisis that involves medical services unavailable near their homes. The brainchild of BCMF founder Kanchana Thornton, the house serves as a hostel-type residence for up to 24 patients and caregivers while they wait for and recover from treatment in a nearby hospital. Most of the patients and families are poor migrants who live along the Thailand-Myanmar border.
The patients, mainly children, suffer from neurological diseases, such as spina bifida and hydrocephalus; physical deformities, such as cleft palates and club feet; and a variety of other serious conditions, from severe burns through blood disorders to childhood cataracts.
The Chiang Mai International Rotary Club strives to provide two basic services to the B.K. Kee Patient House. We provide financial assistance with improvements and repairs to the house, which might include purchasing appliances, as well as weekly visits by CMIRC club members. This latter provides residents with an opportunity to engage in leisure activities, such as crafts, games, socializing, and enjoying snacks. Fun activities include playing bingo for small prizes and painting ceramic figurines. Younger patients enjoy playing with a beanbag toss game or balloons and using sticker books.
Upcoming projects planned for the house include expansion and maintenance of the gardening beds located on the property as well as making “Hospital Visit Kits” for younger patients, which include books, workbooks, and utensils for leisure and educational purposes. These would be sent with the child and parents when they are supposed to be in the hospital for an extended period.