VANCOUVER—A Kelowna family is facing eviction from a Ronald McDonald House facility in Vancouver after it abruptly introduced requirements that all guests need to have COVID-19 vaccination.
Austin Furgason and his wife Lindsay have been staying at the facility run by the Ronald McDonald House BC and Yukon since October while their son undergoes treatment for his recently diagnosed acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
In a letter issued on Jan. 10, Ronald McDonald House BC and Yukon (RMHBC) said that “everyone five years and older who are working, staying or visiting our facilities must show proof of full vaccination (two doses) in addition to completing our existing screening.”
Because neither he nor his wife have chosen to take a COVID-19 vaccine, Furgason and his family are now forced to leave and find alternate accommodation until June when his son’s treatment is scheduled to end.
“[They] evicted a four-year old boy with cancer,” Furgason told The Epoch Times. “It just shows they will go to any lengths to to get people jabbed because everybody who’s been vaccinated wanted to get vaccinated. Everybody who’s not vaccinated, doesn’t want to get vaccinated. So anybody now, is getting vaccinated because of coercion and force or by taking jobs away.”
The Epoch Times reached out to RMH multiple times for comment but didn’t receive a reply.
Furgason posted a video on his Facebook page on Jan. 11 which shows him approaching a staff member at the RMH facility to verify if his family is going to be evicted.
In the video, which has gone viral, the unidentified RMH staff member tells Furgason, “What we’re doing is protecting the safety of everybody in the House.”
“No you’re not, because a vaccinated person can still get [COVID-19] and transmit it,” Furgason tells her in response.
Since posting the video, Furgason says he has received a lot of support, including from many guests at the RMH.
“So many people … are being affected,” Furgason said in an interview. “There are people here who have been approaching me who are vaccinated, and they’re saying, ‘I don’t want to vaccinate my kid, he’s fine. And he’s in the middle of a cancer treatment.’”
RMH’s letter says the new vaccine requirements will be in effect by Jan. 17 for all new guests, and by Jan. 31 for the existing guests.
After Furgason’s video went viral, a GoFundMe page setup in October to support the family as their son receives cancer treatment saw donations quickly rise from $3,000 collected in a few months to more than $130,000 in just two days.
Mitch Murphy, a friend of the Furgasons who set up the GoFundMe page, speaks very highly of his friends.
“They just glow everywhere that they go with the spirit of God,” Murphy said. “And so when Jack was diagnosed, I was just crushed.”
Furgason said he feels very elated by all the support his family has been receiving.
“I can’t walk around being depressed. I feel like God would be like, I’m taking care of you,” he said. “People saw a problem, and they’re saying we got this guy’s back. The community of people who agree that this is wrong, they had my back and they rectified my problem really quickly.”
For the time being, the family is heading back to Kelowna as their son doesn’t have to be back for his treatment for another week. But the return stay at RMH will likely be short, if they even decide to come back, Furgason says.
“I’m probably just going to leave to be honest. I mean, they don’t want me here,” he said. “I thought this is my family and my home but if they think otherwise, what am I to do?”