Cynthia and Johnny Guzman with Cheri Bazley, executive director, LBRMH are delighted they have a “home away from home” near Grace who is hospitalized next door.
City officials, community members, donors and executives from Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach recently celebrated the Grand Opening of the Long Beach Ronald McDonald House (LBRMH). Escorted tours of the house were provided followed by a program and ribbon cutting ceremony. There were multiple speakers who shared their excitement about the house opening, including Don Knabe, LA County supervisor, fourth district, Ron Piazza, president of the Board of Directors for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California and Rob Parker, CEO, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Southern California.
Shortly following the open house, the LBRMH welcomed its very first family from the Jonathan Jaques Children’s Cancer Center (JJCCC) at Miller Children’s. The Guzman Family was one of the first families to stay in one of the 23 private rooms at LBRMH. The Guzman’s have a daughter, Grace, was diagnosed with cancer when she was 5 years old and has been a patient at JJCCC at Miller Children’s since May.
“I cannot explain how nice it is to have a place to stay so close to my daughter,” says Cynthia, Grace’s mother. “I no longer have to worry about getting my son, Johnny, a ride to the hospital. This keeps the family together and is a true blessing.”
The LBRMH gives families a place to stay and provides comfort to family members while their loved ones are in the hospital. There are 23 guestrooms with private baths, a living room, courtyard, gardens, large kitchen, business center, laundry facilities and a children’s playroom. Staff is available to serve the family at any time of the day or night. Many meals also are provided, prepared and cooked by LBRMH volunteers.
“The Ronald McDonald House was built to be a home away from home to families,” says Cheri Bazley, executive director, LBRMH. “We like to know we are providing comfort and care to families in need. It was quite special to welcome our first family into the house this week. It provided tremendous relief for them which is exactly what we are meant to do here.”