Barely 2-years-old and Iker already has a scar running across his skull from brain surgery. He was only 11-months-old when diagnosed with a brain tumor. He and his family have been using Ride With Emilio every. single. day. for the last six weeks. He’s endured three surgeries to remove his tumor, chemotherapy, and radiation because of a relapse. Iker, his mother, and 3-year-old brother live with Iker’s maternal grandparents. Iker’s dad lives and works out of state and his mother doesn’t own a car. His family said Ride With Emilio makes a big difference because they can rely on the transportation service to get to treatment instead of the bus or family members. When Iker was first diagnosed with cancer, his grandfather had to stop working to get his grandson to treatment. Thanks to Ride With Emilio, he was able to return to work. Iker’s mother said the impact of cancer on the family is “very devastating watching her baby having to go through so much.” Iker recently finished his last radiation treatment, although he will still be undergoing chemotherapy.
Antoinette “Daniella” was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) last year. Her family relies on Ride With Emilio to take her to chemotherapy on time every week. Daniella’s support system is back in Mexico so it’s very hard for them to reach out and ask favors. Without the transportation service, they would take the bus or Daniella’s dad would work graveyard shifts. Daniella’s mom said, “Cancer has changed our life, but through all the hardships, we’ve received many blessings along the way. We’ve changed our lifestyle. We left family, friends, and our home in Mexico to move to San Diego. However, we found support and a family in ENF.” Daniella and her family frequent the Resource Center and ENF’s “Knitting For Hope” program. Daniella herself has become an avid knitter! She arrives at the hospital understandably stressed, anxious, and tense. However, because of ENF’s knitting sessions, Daniella associates knitting with pleasant experiences at the hospital. Daniella is in remission, but has two more years of chemotherapy ahead of her.