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.
Seven-year-old Mario was feeling sick and his parents did not know why. They had recently moved from Iraq and spoke very little English and were skeptical on their communication skills. It was on February 2013 when Mario’s family of six was devastated with the news of a scary diagnosis: neuroblastoma, a rare disease in which a solid tumor is formed by special nerve cells called neuroblasts. Mario’s treatment could not wait and was imperative that he start immediately. They were terrified not only for the diagnosis but how they were going to take Mario to his cancer treatment (radiation) every day for the next two months. His mom does not drive and his dad uses their only car for work every day. They heard, through their hospital’s social worker, about ENF and Ride With Emilio. Every day for the first two months, Ride With Emilio transported Mario and his mom to his cancer treatment at Moores Cancer Center, free of charge, making sure they were safe and on time, every time. Mario is currently in remission.