On Monday, May 6, 2019, Claudia Martin de Goncalves and her husband, João Paulo, were accompanied by their friend, Verena, as well as Yoli, President of the Alyssa Alvin Foundation for Hope (AAFH) in delivering 30 Alyssa Starter Art Kits (SAKs) to Casa Ronald McDonald in Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil*.

*Disclosure: Travel expenditures, i.e., airfare and lodging expenses, were not paid by the AAFH.

Almost a year ago, Yoli and George met Claudia and her son, João Pedro “JP”, who were staying at Ronald McDonald House East in St. Petersburg, Florida. JP participated in the afternoon Art Activity sponsored by AAFH and a friendship with JP and Claudia was born.

In mid-April of this year, Claudia and JP, returned to Florida for a follow-up visit for JP’s medical condition at Shriners Hospital in Tampa, FL. While staying at the RMH East in St. Petersburg they reunited with Yoli.

In preparation for the trip to São Paulo, Claudia contacted Casa Ronald McDonald in Campinas, São Paulo as well as the Boldrini Children’s Center, a children’s hospital with a large hematology/oncology patient base.

Upon our arrival at Casa Ronald McDonald, we were greeted by the Manager, Elen Mirian Casonato, and her Assistant, Daniella, who gave us an extensive tour of the facility. This RMH has a capacity for 28 residents and on the day of our visit, there were 23 rooms being occupied by families with sick children. Elen expressed her gratitude for the delivery of the Alyssa Starter Art Kits which included various types such as journals, drawing and adult coloring book kits. As can be seen from the pictures, the Alyssa SAKs were given to youths who clearly displayed their happiness in receiving the art materials.

We are grateful to the Goncalves family for their wonderful work in contacting and coordinating with local staff to organize the visits to the Casa Ronald McDonald and the Boldrini Children’s Center in Campinas and for their warm hospitality during the weekend. Yoli got to spend lots of time with JP and his 3 year-old beautiful little sister.

Claudia and her husband, João Paulo, want to spread the mission of AAFH in their country of Brazil. They embrace the joy of art and music as Alyssa did and want to spread that same joy to other patients in their state of São Paulo.

This personal experience and heartfelt love of this family will forever remain in our hearts and now they too are a part of the Alyssa Alvin Foundation friends and family!