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Puerto Rican Family Spends Holidays Away From Home

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DURHAM — For many of us, Christmas is spent at home, surrounded by family and friends. But some families do not have that luxury.

Like most little children, 7-year-old Arley Rosado could not wait to tear into his Christmas gifts. Instead of enjoying Christmas at home in Puerto Rico, Arley and his family are spending the holidays in Room A-2 of the Ronald McDonald House in Durham.

Arley has Hurlers Syndrome, a rare disease that weakens the immune system and the bones. For the last three months, he has been undergoing physical therapy at Lennox Baker for fractured neck.

"We're going through a lot of stuff, but we're doing good," says Arley's mom, Juanelly.

But, despite all the difficulties, Juanelly and her husband, Eric, were determined to put a smile on their son's face on Christmas morning.

"We've been giving thanks everyday," Eric says. "Everyday that we wake up, we thank God for being able to take care of him."

Piles of gifts crowd the tiny room many are donations from strangers. The Rosados found that the true meaning of the Christmas could be found in their tiny room.

Arley could be in for a few more months of therapy, but his parents are determined to spend next Christmas with the whole family in Puerto Rico.

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Julia Lewis, Reporter
Ron Pittman, Photographer
Brian Shrader, Web Editor

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