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Stephanie Rose's Fundraiser:

Alondra's House

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BENEFITING:

Stephanie Rose

THE STORY:

In 1999, at the age of just 2 years, Alondra Chavez was diagnosed with heart murmur and needed open heart surgery. Alondra and her family were living in Baja California, Mexico, where I happened to be living, and working in a free clinic on the compound of the FFHM orphanage. My job as Special Care Coordinator was to collaborate with surgeons in the U.S. who were willing to donate their services to these babies who, without help, would die. Alondra was my first transport. I brought her to the U.S. where a Dr. out of Chicago donated free open heart surgery on the tiny, but fiercely brave, 2 year old. There were complications and Alondra nearly died post operatively. I returned to Mexico to tell her mother, Maura, the horrible news and raced to put together a file to bring her to LAX and fly her to Chicago so Alondra wouldn't die without her there. I stayed in L.A. for any news of Alondra. I began receiving emails from the nursing staff in Chicago stating that the minute Alondra's mother arrived at her side, Alondra began a complete turn around. It has been over 10 years since Alondra's surgery-she is now a gorgeous, wonderful young lady with a shining heart inside and out. and the scar running down her chest still serves as a testimony of her miracle for their whole family. Every year when I go back to check on her, her father, David, still cries when we look at the pictures and relive the miracle. They have since had another little girl who they named Stephanie, and the girls have become my little neices, who grew up calling me auntie. They are truly one of the sweetest, most giving families I know. It breaks my heart that ten years later, they are still living in a one room shack. And travel miles to cook tortillas for the local ranchhands just to keep their tiny shack where their girls are growing up. The girls have a makshift room off to the side that's separated by hanging blankets. But David and Maura sleep on a cot-like bed in the kitchen. Maura slaves every day and looks years beyond her age. In August when i went to check on them, i felt very convicted that this coming year i needed to do everything in my power to help them finish their home so i can know that no matter what happens down the road, my family will have a clean, safe home to come back to at the end of the day. Before I knew them, David had begun to build block walls but was unable to continue, which is usually the issue in Baja. He has the land, and a good solid foundation but no means to finish a home. I was looking at the walls and layout of the foundation in August when David came over to see what i was looking at. It was the first time i could physically envision a finished home. I asked David how much he needed to finish his house. He put his head down and wouldnt answer me, and after much prodding, he said, no Stephanie, it's too much money. When i said, David, there is no shame in talking about it, he said $2,000. I was so taken back by this because in America we cannot even begin to fathom such a small amount when it comes to a roof over our heads. when i told him i would like to help him finish his house, he began crying uncontrollably. When I think of David I see a a man who lost faith in any kind of a dream for his family a long time ago. This project is very close to my heart and has been a long time in the works. Alondra's fundraiser is for this purpose and is for her benefit

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