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Hello RMHC Supporter,

A picture is worth a thousand words. But for Mateo Reyes and his family, this photo is worth a thousand words, 493 nights of rest, and countless prayers answered.

The behind-the-scenes story of this photo starts 11 years ago when Mateo was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a rare birth defect in which the left side of the heart is extremely underdeveloped. His first surgery was 48 hours after he was born, with his second only a month later.

“When he was discharged, we came to the House for the first time,” mom Esmeralda remembered. “And there the beautiful experience began for us of getting to know the House.”

Through the years, Mateo and his family traveled from their home in Yuma, Arizona to Phoenix Children’s for ongoing care from specialists five to six times a year. Each time, because of donors like YOU, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central and Northern Arizona® was there to welcome them.

But in 2022, Mateo was diagnosed with a life-threatening intestinal blockage. After emergency surgery, Mateo was placed in a medically induced coma for six weeks. His family was told that his chances for survival were unlikely.

Every moment with Mateo was a gift to be treasured and Yuma was too far for his family. So, during that critical time, Mateo’s parents and older brother found their “home-away-from-home” at Ronald McDonald House.

Mateo is a fighter and as his condition improved, he was able to leave the hospital while still receiving outpatient treatment for his heart and digestive conditions.

After 493 nights at the House, the Reyes family was finally able to go home. The good news is that ‘home’ is now just down the street in a nearby neighborhood where they can remain close to the continued care Mateo needs.

The ability of Mateo’s family to remain close to his side was priceless. But your generous donations to the House made those priceless moments possible. $107 covers the cost of one night of rest, but you can’t put a price on what togetherness means to families like the Mateo’s. Donate today to make that togetherness possible.

With gratitude,

Kerry Schulman
Chief Executive Officer

P.S. Because of donor generosity, the Reyes family found their “home-away-from-home” at Ronald McDonald House for 493 nights. We need your help to provide togetherness for every family who needs us. Make a tax credit* donation to the House today.


Gifts to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central and Northern Arizona of up to $421/individual or $841/couple are eligible for a dollar-for-dollar tax credit on your 2023 Arizona state tax filings. Learn more here.