Rene Rodriguez and Yuri Coto-Jimenez have a beautiful family, but Rene is a little outnumbered! With three girls running around, Rene's life is full of Hello Kitty, princesses, and kissing boo-boos, and with new baby Estefani currently in Children's Hospital it isn't going to stop any time soon!
While mom is able to spend most of the day at the hospital with Estefani, Damari Aracili(8 yrs), Dulse Marina (6 yrs) and Dulse Damari (1 yr) are spending quality time together with dad here at Ronald McDonald House Southwestern Ontario.
Staying together as a family is very important to Rene and Yuri as they made a big move from their home country of Honduras to Canada three years ago, leaving behind many of their extended family members. Moving to Quebec and then once again to Edmonton just last July, the family has not had the chance to build the same support system they would be able to rely on during difficult times back in Honduras. Not expecting the baby for another two months, the family was actually traveling through Canada when Yuri started having her contractions. Estefani surprised everyone when she was born premature at 32 weeks on December 19th, 2013 in Wawa, Ontario. Immediately helicoptered to Children's Hospital, Stephanie has been gaining her strength while the family stays together at Ronald McDonald House Southwestern Ontario.
During their stay, Rene says it has been easy to keep the girls entertained at the House with the play rooms and activities like crafts. The variety of dinners provided are also a favorite part of the House for the family, even if they aren't the traditional meals they would eat at home!
They are very thankful for the services RMH has been able to provide to them and even with speaking very little English they can see the effort volunteers and staff make to help their family feel at home. Rene has especially enjoyed being able to talk his native language with a new friend and Spanish speaking staff member at the House, Rosa, who helped to translate for this article.
The three sisters are excited for Estefani to come home and Rene and Yuri are ready to get back to Edmonton. They hope to start the 3,280 km drive home on January 14th, but they will always be thankful to feel like they have an "extended family" here at the House that love built.
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