4 words no parent ever wants to hear: Your child has cancer. That became reality for Richard and Diane Nares. While living in the hospital, though grateful for the tremendous support system around them — looking around they recognized that not everyone was as fortunate. And in 2003, after losing their five-year-old son Emilio, they decided to create a foundation, the Emilio Nares Foundation (ENF), to honor his life and to aid those journeying through cancer. They knew firsthand what others were experiencing.
When battling cancer, everything becomes a part of the big picture. Rides to and from the hospital for treatments become a lifeline. When Richard learned that many children of low-income households were missing these treatments due to lack of transportation — he stepped in, at first with his own vehicle, to provide dependable and reliable services. And thus a movement was created. Emilio’s Annual Impact: 162,000 hours spent in a van, 107,000 miles, 4,250 rides, 223 patients served, 2,300 appointments.
To ensure no child misses a cancer treatment due to lack of transportation.
To bring “Ride With Emilio” to cities across the country. Southern California based today — nationwide tomorrow.
It’s of no surprise that in 2013, Richard Nares was named a Top 10 CNN Hero; watch the video below:
Today, as ENF continues to expand, in addition to providing rides they are providing:
- ‘Emilio’s Snack Bags’ – healthy snacks for long rides
- Family Resource Center – enabling families to connect with financial aid, employment, legal aid, housing, food, and other vital community services.
- Creating for Hope: Guided knitting and sewing circles for patients and parents as activities to reduce stress and promote healing.
- Loving Tabs Healing Shirts: Specialty shirts created to administer chemotherapy through a child’s permanent chest catheter port without having to lift or remove clothing.
- End-of-life Child and Family Care: During the last weeks of a child’s life, assistance with funeral costs, family meal cards, emergency financial aid, end of life ceremonies and education.
Changing lives one ride at a time, our hats are off to Richard and Diane Nares and the entire Emilio Nares Foundation for stepping up to the steering wheel!
Our patients are family.
~ Richard and Diane Nares