Jeneece Edroff and Abigail McCorquodale

Generosity overflows for Jeneece Place

When her daughter was born without an esophagus, Brenda McCorquodale spent 100 days living in Victoria General Hospital

When her daughter was born without an esophagus, Brenda McCorquodale spent 100 days living in Victoria General Hospital, rarely leaving her newborn’s side.

During her high-risk pregnancy, the Port Hardy mom was required to stay near VGH and couch surfed at friend’s homes in Victoria. When Abigail was born, McCorquodale slept on cots or chairs near the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).

“I’d run across the street to the corner store to buy food,” she recalled. “Finding a place to have a shower was tough, it was a tough time. The hospital staff were amazing and did what they could.”

McCorquodale and Abigail, now six-years-old and an energetic little girl, are a testament to the need for a home away from home for families with sick kids.

On Saturday, the McCorquodales joined Jeneece Edroff for the official opening of Jeneece Place at VGH.

The 10-bedroom house has about everything a worried family could want — a stocked communal kitchen and dining room, a place for kids to play, a vast media room, while being only a few steps from the hospital, for $25 per night.

“Families need a place to stay in Victoria, and a hotel is too expensive,” said Edroff, who celebrated her 18th birthday on Friday, one day before the grand opening. “Family is important, especially when a child is in hospital. This place is perfect.”

McCorquodale said Jeneece Place would have been welcome relief six years ago. But she’s happy future Island families — it’s expected 95 per cent of people who will stay at Jeneece Place live north of the Malahat — will have one less worry on their hands.

“Having a play room anticipates things well. (Brothers or sisters) can only spend so much time in a hospital,” Brenda said. “Having a place to play and relax is excellent.”

Decorated in First Nations art and art donated by the community, inspiration and thoughtful design pepper Jeneece Place, from the animal shapes that mark the rooms, to the glass art installation at the front door, offering “hope, strength, family and love.”

The house, operated by the Queen Alexandra Foundation, aimed to raise $5.5 million to cover construction costs and 10 years of operating funds — it raised $6.5 million through thousands of individual donation.

The building itself came in 10 per cent under budget and received $1.1 million in in-kind donations.

“I think it turned out better than we could have dreamed. So many families will get such better care, the stress is off them,” said Angie Edroff, Jeneece’s mom.

Angie said the donation from Telus Skins golf game in 2010 brought the project and the issue to the forefront, and helped launch a cascade of donations.

“I thought at that point she was going to do it,” Angie said. “When she gets an idea in her head, there is no stopping her. ‘No’ doesn’t exist for Jeneece.”

Jeneece plans to graduate from Claremont secondary this June, but the “penny girl” still lives every day with neurofibromatosis, a condition where tumours grow on nerve pathways. She may need more surgeries soon.

“I want to help the community a lot more,” Edroff said. “I want to find a new project I can help with.”

For more on Jeneece Place, see



Just Posted

Man arrested, charged in connection with stabbing at Langford Lanes

Twenty-year-old Austin Bonner has been charged with aggravated assault

Community rallies behind Langford man battling lymphoma

More than $20,000 has been raised to help Mike Gordon

B.C. Transit to reduce service for spring

Route changes come in to effect April 9

Group calls for limited access to backcountry roads near Jordan River

Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association says closures would limit misuse of woods

Career fair inspires Royal Bay students

Inaugural event brought together 72 workers from various fields

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Women’s Expo seeks to empower women this weekend

Victoria Women’s Expo set for Saturday and Sunday at Pearkes Recreation Centre

City of Victoria seeks artists to contribute to upcoming public exhibitions

Submissions for Commercial Alley gallery, bus shelter project due by April 9

Alberta budget plans for Trans Mountain expansion

Finance Minister Joe Ceci says expected revenues will be factored into budget forecasts

Plane filled with smoke lands at Nanaimo Airport

WestJet flight came in from Vancouver

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 20

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Rescued Comox canoer credits those ‘at the right place, at the right time’

James Milne was rescued in a hypothermic state Sunday near Goose Spit

Proposed gun bill attacked by gun owners and shooting victims

The federal government tabled the bill today in order to tighten the sale and tracking of firearms

Most Read