Sophia and Isaac Orendain announced themselves to the world 12 weeks early, and barely tipped the baby scales at 2 lbs. each. As a result they spent 10 long weeks in Long Beach Memorial Hospital fighting for their lives. During that time dad Ivan Orendain (Toyota of Orange Dispatcher) and mom Jessica stayed at the nearby Ronald McDonald House so they could be near the babies until they could come home.
Ronald McDonald House is called “The House That Love Built” for a reason. It provides a comfortable and affordable “home away from home” for families whose children are being treated at a nearby hospital. It keeps families together when it counts most, and allows the parents to focus on one thing – the health of their child. The actual cost for one family per night is approximately $150. However, families are asked to pay only $10 per day. And if that isn’t possible, their stay is free. For this reason, Ronald McDonald House relies on the support of individuals, corporations and fundraisers.
Enter Amber McGuire, Toyota of Orange’s service CRM. She worked with Ivan during this difficult time, and came to realize how much it meant to him and Jessica to have the caring support of Ronald McDonald House and its staff. As a result, she decided to form a team to participate in the Ronald McDonald House Walk for Kids held on April 7. She recruited other employees, sent out emails and made sure everyone knew where they needed to be and when. Pictured above are service department employees Amy Mesa, Amber McGuire, Ivan Orendain, Christina Maravilla, Vanessa Reveles and Lance Becker. Dealership employees who couldn’t participate supported with donations; and the Walk overall raised more than $300,000.
Ivan said, “I know we could never repay Ronald McDonald House for the help and support they gave us. This is just our very small way of saying ‘thank you’.”
And by the way, Isaac and Sophia are home now, 4 months old on May 10, and weighing in at a whopping 11 lbs. and 8 ½ lbs. respectively. They may never realize the roller coaster of heartbreak and hope that accompanied their birth. But Ivan says that when they are walking, they will be joining him and Jessica on future Walks for Kids, and hearing about the House that Love Built that kept their parents close when they needed them most. For more information about the Ronald McDonald House and the Walk for Kids, go to www.rmhc.com.