A second home: Sanchez family

Matthew’s Story

When 10-year-old Matthew’s left eye began drifting to one side, his parents, Noemi and Hugo, assumed he needed corrective glasses. But, after consulting with their doctor in Prosser, WA, they learned his eye was being impacted by a growing brain tumor.

In 2021, Matthew was diagnosed with Craniopharyngioma, a rare type of brain tumor that, if left untreated, will lead to serious health issues and can have life-threatening complications. Matthew had surgery immediately, but, due to the placement of the tumor, doctors weren’t able to remove it completely. 

Unfortunately, two months ago, scans revealed the tumor had grown back. 

In the hopes to stop the tumor’s growth, Matthew’s doctors are administering a new medication weekly with no room for missed doses. The Sanchez family, living in Prosser, faced a three-hour drive to Seattle for his medical care. Worried about winter weather closures at Snoqualmie Pass, his medical team insisted the family  relocate to Seattle for the next two years.

“If we couldn’t secure a room at RMHC, we’d live in our car,” Hugo said. 

Families staying at RMHC often face reduced or nonexistent income due to circumstances like relocation. In Hugo’s case, he had to quit his farming job to help take care of his son with his wife, leaving Matthew’s two older brothers back home.

In times of medical emergencies, the ripple effect of such devastating news is felt by every family member. RMHC serves as a stabilizing factor, supporting the health and well-being of everyone during these challenging times. 

For Matthew’s brothers, the assurance that their younger brother is well taken care of and parents have a secure place to stay, complete with services like daily meals, laundry facilities, and essential items, has enabled the Sanchez family to keep moving forward. 

At the moment, the Sanchezes are hopeful that this new medication will provide the solution they are seeking for a healthy recovery. During this long stay, they will keep their normal routines and continue growing together as a family at RMHC. Noemi has taken up painting elaborate mandalas to pass the many hours, Hugo enjoys strolls with his son amid the autumn foliage for exercise, and impromptu dance parties in the kitchen still find a place.

While the walls may not be their residence back in Prosser, they are still finding ways to make RMHC feel like home.

Your support helps families like Matthew’s at a difficult time in their lives. To learn more about how to get involved, visit our Donate or Volunteer pages!