On the Saturday morning of the annual “Walk for kids” in favor of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California, Brenda Sanchez with her family walked through the La Quinta’s Civic Center Park wearing a shirt that has the image of a little girl with a pink headband. Sanchez, just like the rest of the people present, walked in support of the charity which keeps her closer to her baby girl during the baby’s heart surgery.
Elizabeth Sanchez, her 7 month old infant baby girl was born with an unusual heart condition which had her in surgery 7 days after her birth. Elizabeth went in for another surgery for a pacemaker to be placed on her little baby heart this week. According to Sanchez, Elizabeth is doing fine, she said as she shows the picture of her baby’s post-operation she has on her phone with a big smile on her face.
Sanchez acknowledge Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital for the support of keeping her close to her baby as it would have been very tough for her to be traveling from her home in Coachella Valley to the hospital every day. She said “We’re very happy that we can be close to her anytime she needs anything”. She said it was important for her to be in La Quinta for the Walk to support the charity helping her family but, the moment the Saturday walk is finished, she will be traveling back to Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House.She expressed her gratitude by saying “I have no words, I am very thankful not only to Ronald McDonald House but to God as well.”
The location executive director; Mike Kovack said while the Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House is in San Bernardino County, almost 40% of the families staying in McDonald house are residents of Coachella Valley. He further said while the Loma Linda Ronald McDonald House has increased the number of rooms to total 54, there is an expected increase in needs as the valley population increases.
Kovack said the charity spends about $100 per night on each room however, the family are not charged a penny by the Ronald McDonald House which makes the yearly Walk For Kids very important. He said further that “when half of our budget is housing families from the Cocachella Valley, we just want to make sure we can always say yes”.
The advantage of having the parents closer to the children in need of care at the Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital enjoyed by both parent and the children. Kovack explains that they have time to rest well and eat properly since they are in full state of mind to understand what the doctor says and also monitor their children’s progress.Kovack said the organization has strong foundation. There are hundreds of people who in the least know one person that has been helped in care support by Ronald McDonald Houses all over the country. The connections have brought about deep support for the continuity the charity’s activities from numerous donors and volunteers.
Among the numerous supporters is 2014 California Powerball $60 million lottery winner; Jack Long of Fontana who started reaching out to many through the Jack Long Fontana Foundation of hope he founded after his winnings. Jack Long gave a promise to match every $50 donation the Ronald McDonald House gets. Long saw this as a good idea. He believes he is doing exactly what he was asked to do by God for giving him the money.