Located in Chiang Mai, the B. K. Kee Patient House is part of the BCMF foundation. It’s often described as a much smaller-scaled version of the Ronald McDonald House program which shares a common goal to keep children and families together when facing a health crisis which requires medical services unavailable to them where they live. 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 facility. Most of the patients and families are poor migrants who live along the Thai/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 to blood disorders to childhood cataracts.
The major social activity of the year is the annual Christmas party which was well attended this past December. We had a large number of Rotary members show up, many bringing special treats and donating to the gift bags that each patient, family member and staff received. It was a very joyous and special occasion.
CMIRC strives to provide two basic services to the B.K. Kee Patient House; to provide financial assistance with improvements and repairs to the house (which might include purchasing appliances) as well as weekly visits by Rotary members.Visits from club members provide the residents an opportunity to engage in leisure activities such as crafts, games, socializing and enjoying snacks. In recent visits some of the activities included playing BINGO for small prizes and painting ceramic figurines. Younger patients have enjoyed playing with a recently purchased beanbag toss game, playing with 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 up “Hospital visit Kits” for younger patients that include books, workbooks and utensils for leisure and educational purposes. These would be sent with the child and parent when they are going to be in the hospital for an extended period of time.
For more information on the BCMF, visit their website.