Congratulations to Dr. Ricardo Pun-Chong, who has been named the 2018 CNN Hero of the Year. Hosted by CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Kelly Ripa, the 12th annual “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute” aired live Sunday night from New York City. The award is determined by online voters who selected Pun-Chong from among the top 10 CNN Heroes finalists.
As a doctor undergoing his medical training in Lima, Peru, he treated many children who traveled with their parents from rural parts of the country. Far from home and loved ones and unable to pay for a place to stay in Lima, many families found themselves homeless while fighting for their children's lives.
"I couldn't get the picture of the families sleeping on the floor out of my mind," Pun-Chong explained. "So, I decided to do something for them."
Since 2008, Pun-Chong's nonprofit, Inspira, has provided free housing, meals and overall support for sick children and their families while they undergo treatment. The organization has helped more than 900 families who've come from all over Peru.
“When I'm with these kids, and I feel how strong they are, I understand that there are no problems that we can't resolve,” said Pun-Chong.
Pun-Chong will receive $100,000 to further aid Inspira. Each of the Top 10 CNN Heroes will also receive $10,000 in recognition of their work. Donations made to each of their designated nonprofit organizations are also being matched up to $50,000.
Read more about our 2018 CNN Hero of the Year, Dr. Ricardo Pun-Chong, on CNN.com. And, to learn more about CNN Heroes, like CNN Heroes on Facebook, follow @CNNHeroes on Twitter and use the hashtag #CNNHeroes. Behind-the-scenes images can also be seen on the CNN Heroes Instagram account.