On Sunday, April 8 residents of the Inland Empire community will lace up their shoes to support the annual Inland Empire Walk for Kids fundraiser. The annual Walk helps to raise funds for the Inland Empire Ronald McDonald House (IERMH) which acts as a “home away from home” and provides life changing services for critically ill children and their families. This year the House hopes to raise $250K from the Walk and 100% of the funds raised will directly benefit families in the local I.E. community, helping to provide a home for families to stay near their hospitalized child at little to no cost.
The IERMH houses almost 1,000 families per year including The Gongora Family, this year’s Inland Empire Walk for Kids Ambassador Family. The Gongora Family experienced a difficult time when their daughter Jhené Amerie arrived 9 weeks early due to a full placenta abruption. Jhené was born near death. Doctors informed the family that Jhené would not live past 3 days and they should begin making arrangements. However, Jhené kept fighting and 45 days later the family was able to take her home.
The Gongora Family spent 30 days at the IERMH during what they describe as one of the darkest and most stressful moments of their lives. The House truly was a home away from home for the family, “Our experience at the Loma Linda house lifted our spirits, it meant a lot to our family to know that people genuinely cared about our circumstances and wanted to help” says father Kareem Gongora.
The event will take place at Fontana Park, 15556 Summit Ave., Fontana, 92326. Registration opens at 6:30 a.m.; opening ceremony at 8 a.m. and the walk begins at 9 a.m.