Walk for Kids is on Sunday, April 7, 2013 at Exposition Park.
To register, donate or sponsor visit our Walk for Kids website by clicking here.
This year's Walk family is the Moreno family. Here is their story:
When her son Felix was born in Cancun, Mexico, his mother, Catalina was told that he would be blind for the rest of his life. Refusing to accept this, Catalina sought a second opinion, and in doing so was referred to Dr. Tawansy, a pediatric ophthalmologist at the Children’s Retina Institute in Eagle Rock, CA. Dr. Tawansy discovered that Felix had two detached retinas, but was confident that with the proper treatment, he would be able to see again. Felix, Catalina, and his aunt Lilly arrived at the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House in February of 2011 to undergo a critical surgery that would save his sight.
Felix’s first eye surgery at Huntington Hospital was successful, and he remained in Pasadena for several weeks after for monitoring and post-operative care. During his stay, his mother and aunt utilized the transportation services offered by the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House, and benefited from the Meals of Love program. The proximity of the house to the hospital made it easy to commute back and forth so that they could really participate in Felix’s care. Between medical visits, they spent quality time in the garden, cooked in the kitchen, and participated in the arts and crafts sessions, movie nights, and other activities planned at the house. Felix, his mother, and his aunt made many friends at the house and felt comfortable and supported by the hardworking staff and volunteers – eliminating the stress and loneliness of being so far away from home!
Upon the return of his sight, Felix returned to Pasadena with his mother for a second visit to obtain glasses, and in doing so, had another wonderful experience staying at the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House. He returned to his “home away from home” yet a third time in October of 2012 to undergo the same surgery on his other eye.
Felix’s visits would not have been possible if not for the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House. Thanks to the kindness and generosity of the PRMH supporters, Felix has been granted the opportunity to live his life with the gift of vision.
Last year's Walk family is the Gerstheimer family. Here is their story:
When my wife Shannon and I found out we were pregnant with triplets, we immediately knew we needed to find two things: 1) An OBGYN with experience and success with high-order multiple pregnancies, and 2) A reputable NICU. After some research, we realized that Huntington Memorial Hospital was the best option for a safe delivery and quality care for our newborns.
While the best option was clear to us, a path to make it work was not. We live in the Inland Empire, and a commute to and from Pasadena wasn’t a possibility. Shannon wouldn’t be able to drive after her C-Section, and we needed quick and frequent access to our babies. A months-long hotel stay in the Pasadena area was not a feasible option for us financially.
We were so relieved to hear about the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House! The house was only a five-minute walk (4 minutes 45 seconds to be exact) from the NICU, and could provide us with a place to stay, parking, and even some meals. The PRMH was exactly what we needed to pursue the best care for our family.
At 26 weeks, Shannon went into preterm labor and was checked into the High Risk Unit at Huntington Memorial. After Shannon had been in the hospital for five weeks, our babies arrived. While we were so happy to meet them, they were nearly nine weeks early and needed serious medical support for their hearts and lungs to work properly. They were also very small: at birth our son Graham weighed 2lb 13oz, our little daughter Avery weighed 3lb 1oz, and our second boy Grayson arrived at 3lb 11oz.
Shannon and I stayed at the PRMH for over a month while Grayson, Avery, and Graham’s hearts and lungs developed and while they learned to eat from a bottle. Because we were so close, we were able to see the babies multiple times a day and really participate in their care. Five weeks after delivery, we received great news: Grayson weighed 5lb 3oz, had stable vitals, was eating regularly, and was ready to be released! We were ecstatic to take Grayson ‘home’ with us to the Pasadena Ronald McDonald house. One day later we learned that our daughter Avery weighed 4lb 14oz and was ready to come home! She joined us as well. The PRMH enable our family was able to stay together while we waited for Graham to get released. Five weeks after checking in to the PRMH Graham weighed 5lb 2oz and was free to go home! Nearly three months after Shannon had been checked into the hospital our family went home, together.
Both Shannon and I have volunteered at non-profit organizations before, but we have never been on the receiving end of this kind of charity. After our stay at the Pasadena RMH, we really can’t express our gratitude for the people who have made this possible for our family. Shannon and I have already planned, when the kids are old enough, the first of many Gerstheimer family service projects at the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House. Thank you for your kindness and generosity to our family!