A refuge for children and their families receiving medical care on the South Island, helping thousands through the years, is marking a significant milestone this year.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Jeneece Place, located next to the Victoria General Hospital, has been a “home away from home” for 2,760 families and counting since opening on January 21st, 2012.
The Children’s Health Foundation-run home offers an affordable alternative when accessing nearby medical services, with 10-bedrooms, a kitchen, dining, living and playrooms, and a backyard where kids can feel safe and comfortable.
“It seems like it’s forever been in the community,” Veronica Carroll told Victoria Buzz.
The Foundation’s CEO recalls stories of gratitude from those who’ve stayed at Jeneece Place, noting she couldn’t imagine the community without it.
And it’s all thanks to Frankie Edroff’s dreams and vision, who, at just three years old, was diagnosed with neurofibromatosis type 1 – a debilitating genetic disease.
Against all odds, he survived his doctors’ prognoses and became a champion of health for Island kids, fundraising for Jeneece Place alongside his family.
“We are so blessed and happy to see how well the house has been respected and loved,” said Angie Edroff, Frankie’s mom.
“It means a lot to us.”
It’s Frankie’s bravery and perseverance that rallied the community behind him, raising 95% of his $5.5 million goal in less than 14 months, according to the Children’s Health Foundation.
“He had the dream behind Jeneece Place,” Carroll added.
“The gratitude that all families feel towards Frankie and the Ederoff family just for sticking with it. They weren’t deterred; they knew that it was so important to be close to their children. It’s just an incredible accomplishment. It all started with that dream and determination.”
In 2021, a survey found 70% of guests reported that staying at Jeneece Place decreased their stress, while 83% said their stay increased their peace of mind being so close to the hospital.
That same year, the Foundation opened Q̓ᵂalayu House. Similar to Jeneece Place, it’s a “home away from home” for those on the North Island accessing services at the Campbell River hospital located next door.