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Christopher Mendez

In the summer of 2015, one-year-old Valentina was excited to learn that she would soon be a big sister! Her parents, Francy and Jainer, were expecting a baby boy in early November. During a routine ultrasound, however, their excitement quickly turned into fear. Doctors informed the family that their unborn son had spina bifida.

The only hope to save the baby was to have surgeons operate while the baby was still in-utero. The family had just two weeks to get their son this life-saving procedure or he would no longer be a candidate for the surgery. Making matters even more stressful, the family was told that the surgery would take place in Cincinnati, thousands of miles from their home in Venezuela. With the clock ticking loudly, the family knew they had to do everything they could to make the trip happen.

Jainer and Francy sold all of their belongings to raise money for their trip to the United States. Left with only some clothing, they arrived in Cincinnati in August 2016. Doctors successfully performed the surgery but needed to keep Francy close by for when he was born. Scared and alone in a foreign country, the family struggled to stay positive. However, with one phone call, their lives became a little bit easier. A room was ready for them at our House. They were able to be right across the street from the hospital while they waited for baby Christopher to arrive. They felt at home with our soft beds to sleep in, home-cooked meals and toy-filled playrooms! For Valentina, this made being in a new place much less scary.

In November 2016, Christopher was born. Although he will need months of treatment from Cincinnati Children’s, he is able to stay with his mom, dad and big sister in our House.  Our House is his first home.

I just want to thank God for putting the House on our path. Without your valuable effort to help our family, our son Christopher would not be here with such a wonderful prognosis. Thank you so much for everything!

The Serrano-Mendez family had their lives turned upside down in an instant. They gave up everything to save their child’s life. During a time where they could have lost hope, they instead gained it by being surrounded by other families and people who understand and care. Our House welcomed them with open arms and allowed them to focus on the most important thing in their lives, baby Christopher. Thank you for helping us be the light for these families who seek help in Cincinnati from so far away.