Ronald McDonald House Helps Two Families Find Irreplaceable Frie - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Ronald McDonald House Helps Two Families Find Irreplaceable Friends

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SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane's Ronald McDonald House gives many families an opportunity to stay somewhere accommodating, affordable, and safe, while their children are being treated at a nearby hospital for various diseases.

Although there is not usually a lot of time for socializing in between hospital visits the Allred and Vasquez families became fast friends at the Ronald McDonald House, and have helped each other through countless up's and down's.

Jessica and Jake Allred brought their daughter, Isabella, to Spokane from Montana after she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in August.

Starting in December, they started staying at the Ronald McDonald house.

Wili and Matt Vasquez brought their son, Damon, to Spokane from the Tri-Cities close to 100 days ago when he too was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

"We spent some time in a motel before we got here which was pretty tough," explained Wili. "When we got here we were very thankful to be here."

And, when these 2 families met each other, they found even more to be thankful about. For example, their children truly connected, and for that they were very thankful.

"When Bella was in the hospital, Damon missed her," explained Wili. "He asked for her every day until she came back."

Wili also explained that when Damon plays with Isabella, his spirit is noticeably lifted and he "forgets he's sick at all!"

"Just the way they look at each other, you can see it in their eyes," explained Jessica of their connection. "When Bella gets back from a hospital, Damon just greets her with a big hug."

The Allred's and the Vasquez's also help each other through the every day struggles of being away from home and caring for their children. They cook and eat together, and spend essentially any time outside of the hospital with each other in the Ronald McDonald house.

"It's helpful to have good people in the battle with you who get it," explained Wili. "They get how terrifying a 99.4 degree temperature can be for an immune-compromised kid."

And even though they are excited to head back back to their respective homes, they don't anticipate this will be a friendship that ends when their stay at the Ronald McDonald House ends. They now see each other as not just friends, but family.

"It was not expected," remembers Wili. You put your head down and figure out what you need to do to get through it and be there for your kid, but I don't see how I would be able to do this wihout them."

"We got a whole new life here," explained Jake. "It'll be weird not having our family just down the hall."


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