3,709 miles. This is the distance that separates the Blondet/Villacorta family from their home in Peru and the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland. The family, Miguel and Rosa, their son Vincente and Miguel's mother Amalia, came to Cleveland after learning that their son Adrian would need treatment in Ohio following his birth. It was around this time that Miguel had learned about the Ronald McDonald House from a friend in Lima, Peru. They discovered that staying at the House would allow them to remain close to the hospital, all while providing a warm and supportive environment for their family. With Adrian's birth approaching, the family began their journey to Cleveland.
Soon after their arrival in Ohio, Rosa gave birth to their second son Adrian, who is under the careful supervision and treatment of doctors. Since coming to Cleveland, Miguel, Rosa, Vincente, and Amalia have made the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland their "home away from home." From the gardens, to the community sun-room and homemade volunteer meals, the family has enjoyed many of the amenities that the House has to offer. They have even developed close friendships with many of the volunteers, staff, and families staying at the House. Volunteers Pat and Bobbe and Guest Services Coordinator Molly will always hold a special place in Amalia's heart.
As the family continues their stay in Cleveland, grandmother Amalia has returned home in Lima, Peru to continue her work as a holistic therapist. Although Amalia is now thousands of miles away, the experience she had while in Cleveland inspired her to pay it forward to families who are going through similar circumstances. Since returning home, Amalia has become a volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House of Peru. There Amalia has put her work and cooking skills to good use by providing support and meals to the many families that the House serves.
When asked what made her want to become a volunteer for the Ronald McDonald House of Peru, Amalia said, “THANKFULNESS!!!” While Amalia let it be known that conditions in Lima are much different, she was grateful for the generosity and support that the community provides so that the House can continue to be a home for families as they care for their children...just as it has been for hers in Cleveland.