Manuel arrived at our house in the summer, as a patient of Shriners Hospital for arthrogryposis, which only affects his legs. Traveling from Peru for the first time in both their lives, he and his mother, Virginia, stayed with us for nearly six months. Had they not been able to stay at our house, they “would have had to return to Peru, because the cost of staying anywhere else for this amount of time would have been too costly.”
Virginia said, “To express what the house has brought to our lives is impossible because I am convinced that no one would understand what this house has done for us spiritually and materialistically – the simple act of being welcomed with so much attention and love means so much to us. Manuel Humberto loves this house, he loves his room, loves his bed. He loves everything about it!”
She added, “This house, through its many collaborators and it’s dynamic structure, has touched us in a very profound and transformative way – my son summarizes everything that we have experienced as magical“.
When asked what she would take with her from her time at the house, Virginia said, “In this house, we have been in a process of constant learning. We have learned from so many other families and experiences and we are taking home so many good memories. We have been astonished by the great capacity that human beings have to serve.”
“Everything we have lived, every dinner enjoyed, every breakfast served, every activity provided, every special house event, every family that we met, every volunteer that took us where we needed to go, every trip we took in Summer Camp, and every cheerful giver gave us the support we needed. So many wonderful strangers gave to us without knowing us. I see the future ahead and just hope to have the opportunity to be on the other side, to help others feel what I felt while in the house, in this grand house, that quickly and “magically” became our home. So we are heading home with a new family, and a new home that we never thought we’d discover but that pains us to leave.“