One couple believes that the best way to honor their late son is to offer free rides to kids who are just as sick as he was. This is what they have committed to doing now, and it’s making a big difference.
Richard and Diane Nares lost their child Emilio just before his sixth birthday. The young boy battled Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) during his short life.
According to the National Cancer Institute, ALL is a type of cancer wherein the bone marrow produces too many immature lymphocytes. This particular type of cancer often gets worse quickly if the patient does not seek treatment.
Following the diagnosis, Emilio’s parents said that their child underwent intensive chemotherapy, marrow registry search and a transplant. But during the course of the treatment, Emilio suffered a relapse. In the end, the young boy passed away on October 15, 2000.
To honor his memory, Richard and Diane decided to establish the Emilio Nares Foundation five years after Emilio’s death. In an interview with People, the couple explained how they saw the need to help other sick children struggling to get to the hospital. They realized that a number of immigrants and low-income families do not have reliable transportation to make it to treatment centers. That’s why in 2005, the couple’s foundation started offering free rides to sick children residing in their area.
Passenger vans take thousands of sick kids to treatment each year.
In the beginning, Richard would give free rides to kids using his own car. Today, however, the Emilio Nares Foundation has a fleet of six passenger vans and several full-time drivers. Each year, the organization provides as much as 4,200 rides to around 220 families in Imperial, San Diego and nearby Orange County.
Today, the Emilio Nares Foundation has 11 full-time staff members. Aside from transportation service, it also offers knitting, crocheting and sewing programs to help mothers pass the time while waiting at the hospital. All of the organization’s projects are supported by individual donors.
If you’d like to make a donation to the Emilio Nares Foundation, all you have to do is go to their website. Here, you can make a tax-deductible online donation of $50, $100, $250, $500 or any other amount.
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