On May 2013, Ana Aleksa was diagnosed with Trombositopenia at the tender age of 16 months. Thrombositopenia is a condition in which your blood has a lower than normal number of blood cell fragments called platelets. Since her diagnosis, she receives weekly treatments at Rady Children’s Hospital. Two months after Ana’s diagnosis, her mom learned about ENF’s Knitting for Hope classes and joined the group. Sometimes, hospital waiting times can be long and tedious and for a nervous parent it can be nerve wrecking. Ana’s mom really appreciates these classes, not only because she has learned a new skill, but she has found support with other moms in similar situations. Furthermore, Ana loves spending time with other kids while doing crafts and she gets to wear all of her mom’s creations! Knitting for hope provides all the materials and projects for parents, patients and siblings free of charge.
By making a money or in kind donation to Knitting for Hope you can make a difference in the lives of children like Ana and their families.
On 2008, Arisai was diagnosed with Leukemia at the tender age of 4. His chemo treatment required multiple visits to the hospital and his mom, being a single mother, had no car. Traveling by bus would take them about 2 ½ hours and many transfers, since they live in Vista, approximately 43 miles from Rady Children’s Hospital. Arisai has 3 siblings, all younger than him and the bus stop at the hospital is about ½ mile away. Mom would have to walk with 3 small kids and a baby to get to Arisai’s treatment. After they were introduced to Ride with Emilio, they have relied on us to bring them safely to the hospital and back home. We are so proud of Arisai, who is now 9 years old and has been cancer free for 3 years! By donating to Ride with Emilio you can help ensure that free transportation is available for patients like Arisai, whose life depends on it.
About five years ago, Aditya and his family couldn’t wait for his first birthday to come and celebrate like most kids love to do. However, on the day of his very first birthday, Aditya was diagnosed with cancer of the liver at Children’s Hospital of Orange County. His family was devastated and felt helpless and scared for what was to come. Aditya’s cancer treatment would require multiple hospital visits per week and at that time, mom was pregnant with Aditya’s sister and did not know how to drive. Taking the bus would take about 1 ½ hours and for a pregnant woman wasn’t easy. So, dad would have to stay with Aditya at night, in the morning drive home to pick up mom, bring her to the hospital and go to work. At night, he would pick up mom at the hospital and bring her home to rest, and he would go back to spend the night with Aditya, and start all over again the next day. It was so debilitating and stressful for all of them.
On the very same day of Aditya’s diagnosis, Ride with Emilio Orange County was doing its very first trip ever to CHOC. With the support of our community, Ride with Emilio had finally expanded to Orange County. It was during this time that the hospital staff learned about our services and asked ENF to assist Aditya and his family as they were in great need. They were one of the first families we served in Orange County! “I don’t know what we would’ve done without your services”, Aditya’s dad remarks. They relied on Ride with Emilio’s free transportation services for the initial part of the treatment which lasted approximately two years. Aditya has now been cancer free for three years!! They are so thankful for the assistance received that on Aditya’s 2nd birthday; they came to visit ENF and made a donation to Ride with Emilio. They have since been part of the ENF family and have kept contact with us. So much so, that gain, on Aditya’s 6th birthday on July 2014; they came to San Diego and celebrated his birthday with us. Dad mentioned, “instead of spending money on a party for his 6th birthday, we decided to come and visit ENF and thank the people who helped us, when we had no one. We are so thankful and want to give back a little so that other kids going through this difficult journey get the help we received.” ENF is so honored and proud to learn how important our role was in their son’s road to recovery!
Donate today and help us make a difference in the lives of families like Aditya’s!
Muhammad, & Heawaa’s family came to the United States from Sudan, six years ago. Being refugees from a foreign country, the family found it challenging to adapt to a new home, a new culture and learning a new language was also difficult. However, making a home in a new country was the least of their mother’s worries. At the peak of her nightmares, her children were diagnosed with Sickle Cell Disease – a blood disorder which affects red blood cells. Fortunately, their dad was able to get a job but it was tough for their parents, to get their children to their treatment with limited financial means and only one car, which their dad needed to get to work.
They felt overwhelmed and would have to plan their entire days around transportation. The children were too weak to travel via public transportation. The only viable option to ensure their children would arrive safely to their treatment was Ride With Emilio. Their mom learned about Ride With Emilio through their Social Worker at Rady Children’s. For the past 4 years, Ride With Emilio has transported the family and their children to a countless number of appointments. After a year into treatment, Muhammad received a blood transfusion, which he has responded well to. They still require weekly trips to the Rady Children’s Hospital, but they are grateful that their children have never missed a treatment due to having only one car in the family. They are getting ready to visit their Sudan for the first time in July.
Donate today and help us make a difference in the lives of families like Muhammad’s & Heawaa’s!
Last year, 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. – Neuroblastoma is a rare disease in which a solid tumor (a lump or mass caused by uncontrolled or abnormal cell growth) is formed by special nerve cells called neuroblasts. Normally, these immature cells grow and mature into functioning nerve cells, but in neuroblastoma, they become cancer cells instead-. Mario’s treatment could not wait and was imperative that he started 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 2 months! His mom does not drive and his dad uses their only car for work every day. Dad missing work was out of the question, as this would mean a lower income or possibly losing his job. They simply could not afford for that to happen. That is when they heard, through their hospital’s social worker, about ENF and Ride with Emilio free transportation services! Every day for the first two months, Ride with Emilio transported Mario and his mom religiously to his cancer treatment at Moores Cancer Center, free of charge and making sure they were safe and on time, every time. On one day, he would have to receive treatment at two different hospitals and sometimes up to three appointments! Ride with Emilio has been crucial to Mario’s cancer treatment. One day of missed treatment can be detrimental to Mario’s health and cause years worth of damage to his health. At the present time, Ride with Emilio brings Mario once a week to continue with his course of cancer treatment, sometimes more if his health requires medical attention. Mom has also been able to receive services from ENF’s Family Resource Center inside Rady Children’s Hospital. With her limited use of English, the assistance she has received from our staff has been a tremendous help. Mario still has a way to go, but he is a “happy boy” as described by Armando, one of our drivers; “He is so polite and well mannered”. With a new perspective in life, he wants to be a famous soccer player when he grows up. However his most immediate goals are go to school and learn English and play with friends!!
Donate today and help us make a difference in the lives of families like Mario’s!
“Ben has always had an unusual awareness of cancer, not only because of the risk for cancer in his mother’s family, but especially because his good friend Ryan, 7 months younger than Ben, went through a long 2 year ordeal starting when Ben was around 3 years of age. Ryan had aggressive bilateral Wilms (kidney) Tumors which required multiple surgeries, chemotherapy treatments (with hair loss), hospitalizations, and accompanied by fear, uncertainty. During Ryan’s illness, his mom Emily learned of the Emilio Nares Foundation (ENF) a nonprofit established by a couple to honor their their son who ultimately died of his leukemia. Both, Ryan’s and Ben’s moms saw the need for the services provided by this organization and became quite involved with the group, serving on the Board and providing advice to the group.” In addition to his friend’s cancer journey, Ben learned that his soccer team’s coach had a recurrence of bone cancer this past season. After learning about hair donation, Ben and his mom decided it was a great idea to grow his hair and donate it to an organization that makes wigs for people affected with cancer. Ben continued growing his hair for the rest of the school year.
On May 2013, Ben and his mom decided to do a hair cutting party ” with several purposes in mind: to properly prepare and gather Ben’s hair for donation to an organization called Children with Hair Loss, to involve Ben’s friends and teammates who had supported him in achieving his goal, and as a fund raiser for ENF. The kids were all engaged and it was a great time. The event raised over $1000 for Emilio Nares Foundation. Many thanks to Ben and his family ”
It was only last year, when 6-year-old Mia was diagnosed with leukemia. Her mom Mireya was devastated when she found out about Mia’s diagnosis. Mia and her family live in El Centro, California which is approximately 114.15 miles / 1 hour 52 minutes from Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, where she needed to receive treatment. They immediately moved into the Ronald McDonald House-San Diego but Mia’s mom spent the first month at her daughter’s bedside at Rady Children’s Hospital without seeing the light of day. Her world had changed in an instant and couldn’t conceive her child being so ill. After a while of being in the hospital she started relating with others moms of children in their same situation. Slowly, she started to open up and found out about ENF’s Knitting for Hope program. It’s been eight months now, since she started to attend and hasn’t missed a day! She has learned a new skill that she couldn’t think possible, and has created so many items such as, scarves, small bags, flowers and headbands. She feels “relaxed and less stressed,” she has made new friends and knows that she is not alone in her battle. She has confidence and sees a bright future for her and Mia. She is now the support of other moms who begin their journey. ENF is honored to serve families like Mia’s and the sole purpose of the “Knitting for Hope” program is to empower moms not only with a new skill but with confidence, and to promote support among parents in the same situation. ENF provides all materials and patterns to parents and patients and we distribute approximately 60 skeins of yarn and 30 hooks every month!
Donate today and help us make a difference in the lives of families like Mia’s!
Marvin is a bright 7-year-old who is very active and loves to play. He was born with a hereditary bleeding disorder and has since required multiple visits to Rady Children’s Hospital for transfusions and medical attention. Since he was diagnosed, Marvin’s dad would have to miss work to bring him every time he needed medical treatment. To add to their despair, when Marvin’s sister, Rosalinda, was born she was diagnosed with the same disease. It was a blessing when they were introduced to Ride with Emilio’s transportation program. For almost five years, they rode in Ride With Emilio from 3 times a week to once a month, until approximately two years ago, when their mom, Maria learned to drive and bought a used car! Now, they only use our transportation services whenever her car breaks down and she is glad to give up her space to other families in need transportation. Additionally, mom has become an avid knitter through ENF’s Knitting & Sewing Class and has created wonderful garments for her family and her friends who buy her creations! We are glad to be part of their lives and to assist them in more ways than one!
Donate today and help us make a difference in the life of children like Marvin & Rosalinda!
Can you imagine having a child with cancer? Can you imagine having an only child with cancer? Now, imagine having an only child with cancer and no access to cancer treatment. It is absolutely devastating. This is exactly how Azul’s parents felt four months ago, when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. They live in Brawley, CA approximately 130 miles away from Rady Children’s Hospital- San Diego and would have to travel about 2 hours each way by car, everyday so that Azul could receive the treatment she needed. This was just not an option for them, so dad stayed back home and Azul and mom stayed in the hospital for the first two months of treatment. Today, she is still undergoing treatment and needs radiation everyday and the nearest radiation center is 9 miles away. Every morning, Ride with Emilio picks both of them up from the Ronald McDonald House and brings them to Moores Cancer Center safely and on time. We are honored to be part of Azul’s recovery and we would love to see her grow up and be the princess she dreams to be!
Donate today and help us make a difference in the life of a child like Azul!
The family was devastated when their son, Israel, was 8 months old and was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder giving his parents, Maria and Israel, the shock of their lives. On top of the emotional distress, they had to figure out many other issues following Israel’s diagnosis. Israel’s father took the one car the family had to work every day and sometimes had to miss work two to three days a week to take his son to his appointments. After four years of hardships with transportation, they heard about ENF’s programs and services through their hospital social worker and were so glad to learn about “Ride With Emilio’s” free transportation service. Israel’s family has been relying on Ride With Emilio for 4 years now, and due to his chronic condition, he comes from two times a week to once a month. Israel is wheelchair bound and using ENF’s NEW van with wheelchair lift has been a blessing. Now, Israel is an 8-year-old who loves school and is a “very polite and well-mannered boy” according to ENF’s Driver Armando. When Israel grows up he wants to become a police officer or a firefighter to help people in need. In addition to Ride With Emilio, Israel’s parents receive ENF’s assistance in our Family Resource Center when they need help filling out an application or paying bills online. His mom is also part of ENF’s Knitting for Hope program and loves creating items for her family.ENF is so proud to be part of Israel’s family and to be able to provide assistance and support to many children like Israel.
Donate to Ride with Emilio’s Transportation Program to help kids like Israel get to treatment on time and safely!!
Joel will be 17 in February, 2014. He was diagnosed with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) in 2013 and is currently in intensive care battling for his life. He loves football and one day he would like to be a football player. His immediate goal is to finish high school and go to college. He uses Ride with Emilio and his mom is an avid knitter during ENF’s Knitting for Hope sessions. He is also very supportive of ENF and was the proud winner of our “Vote for Richard to be CNN Hero of the year” contest by voting everyday and spreading the word. His mom is so thankful to ENF for all the support and love: “Thank you God for the Emilio Nares Foundation because they were there for us when we needed them the most, with the much needed transportation. Besides, their kindness and sensibility has made our journey easier. We encourage everybody that has a chance to read our story, to support them, by supporting them, you are supporting us” Joel’s mom.
Donate today and help us make a difference in the life of a child like Joel!
Leslie, a bubbly 17-year-old, has a rare disorder which requires frequent visits to Rady Children’s Hospital for treatment, blood draws, check-ups, etc. Leslie and her mom use Ride With Emilio, once a week, to get her to her appointments on time, every time. If she was not able to rely on Ride With Emilio, Leslie, would take the bus which is not a suitable option for when her immune system is suppressed. She would need to take the bus at noon, leaving her house around 9 am, but by the time she would get home from the hospital, school would most likely be over that day. No child should miss school due to lack of transportation.
Leslie loves ENF’s Driver, Armando, who is “really helpful and funny!” Leslie is currently applying for scholarships so she can go to college next year as she wants to be an architectural engineer.
Donate today and help us make a difference in the life of a child like Leslie!
Carlos is the youngest of four siblings and was diagnosed with rhadbiomyosarcoma when he was only one year old. After receiving treatment, he was in remission for two years, and relapsed at age three. When receiving radiation treatment, he and his mom received free transportation services every single day for four weeks! Now, at age four, he is responding wonderfully to treatment and now only comes to the hospital for chemotherapy twice a week, using Ride with Emilio. ENF is proud and honored to serve children like Carlos who are the real heroes to all of us!!
Donate today and help us make a difference in the life of a child like Carlos!
Jesus Mungia, the youngest of four children, was diagnosed with retinoblastoma of both eyes when he was only 1 year old. Due to the size of the tumors he never received surgery, but he received chemotherapy and radiation. He is 4 years old now and full of life and energy. He has been declared legally blind and he goes to school taking Braille classes. He is also getting trained to use a walking stick. He uses the “Ride with Emilio” at least once a week, not only to go to Rady Children’s Hospital, but to the Moore’s Cancer Center in La Jolla as he requires constant medical check-ups due to the presence of the tumors in his eyes.
Donate today and help us make a difference in the life of a child like Jesus!
10 year old Giovanni was diagnosed with ALL on 2009. Thanks to Ride with Emilio transportation services he is always on time to his appointments and has not missed one treatment. He lives in National City and his family is grateful to ENF for all the support they have received. ENF is honored and cannot wait for Giovanni to become a police officer when he grows up!
Donate today and help us make a difference in the life of a child like Giovanni!
Anthony is 7 years old and was diagnosed with ALL on 2012. His family was devastated by the news. They live in Carlsbad and did not have transportation to Anthony’s treatment at Rady Children’s Hospital. Fortunately, they contacted ENF and Anthony has not missed one appointment using Ride with Emilio transportation services. He wants to become a scientist and discover the cure to cancer and many other diseases. His mom is also an active member of ENF’s Knitting for Hope program and has made a lot of new friends while in the hospital.
Donate today and help us make a difference in the life of a child like Anthony!
Four year old Samuel was diagnosed in 2012 with ALL. His treatment lasted for approximately 3 years and he used Ride with Emilio every week. He responded well to his treatment and now he only visits the hospital twice a month. He lives in Murrieta and with Ride with Emilio, it only takes about 1 hour to get to the hospital! He wants to be a superhero when he grows up so that he can help people in need. He is already a superhero to ENF!!!
Donate today to Ride with Emilio and help us make a difference in a child like Samuel’s life!
Amy is a 14 year old beautiful young lady. She was diagnosed with Leukemia on 2008 but finished her treatment on 2011. She now receives treatment every 3 months and coming from Fallbrook, she is so grateful to be able to use Ride with Emilio to come to Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego. She wants to become a Pediatrician and make a difference in children’s lives, just like her doctors did with her. Her favorite things to do are spending time with friends and family, reading and shopping.
Donate today to Ride with Emilio and help us make a difference in children’s lives!
Lilia is a vivacious 20 year old who enjoys school and hopes to one day have a family of her own. 9 years ago she was diagnosed with a blood disorder and due to a weak immune system, she developed many other conditions. Because of her rare diagnosis, they had no one to turn to until they found ENF. Her mom enjoys our Knitting and Sewing for Hope program and has created wonderful items for Lilia. In addition, thanks to Ride with Emilio, Lilia has been able to keep her appointments and treatment up to date and her future is as bright as her smile.
Donate Today, to our Ride with Emilio Transportation program and to help provide materials for programs such as Knitting & Sewing for Hope- for parents and patients receiving hospital treatment.
Stephanie was diagnosed in 2009 with CIDP -Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy. This disease causes her muscles to get weak like spaghetti, and without chemotherapy treatment, it affects her breathing, throat, vision and legs. She visits Rady Children’s Hospital twice a week and sometimes receives treatment for up to 10 hours. Now 11 years old, Stephanie and her mom love ENF’s Knitting for Hope program and together, they have made some wonderful creations. She is always smiling and is a joy to be around. She loves to help others and has raised over $300 for ENF’s Emilio’s Snack Bags program by selling candy and chocolate. Thank You, Stephanie for helping other children and for being such a big part of ENF!
Donate Today, to help provide materials for programs such as Knitting for Hope, for parents and patients receiving hospital treatment.
Since the day Gisselle Marie, “Sisi”, was born on May 18th , everyone knew she was a very special princess. She was diagnosed when she was 13 months old with Neuroblastoma and is now receiving treatment at Rady Children’s Hospital. Now, at age 2, she is very active and loves everything a princess should, lipstick, makeup, flowers and tiaras. She also loves singing and dancing and has a very special place in her heart for hello kitty. Sisi and her family have very limited means of transportation and ENF is more than happy to assist them in our “Ride with Emilio” transportation program. We are proud to say Sisi is one of ENF little stars!
Donate to Ride with Emilio’s Transportation Program to help kids like Sisi get to treatment on time and safely!!
Oscar is a shining star. One day, he may very well be one. He has many dreams and inspirations. He wants to be an actor, or maybe a marine biologist perhaps. He loves all musical instruments, art, dancing, or just hanging out with friends and family. His smile is captivating! Oscar was diagnosed January 9, 2009. Despite his battle with Leukemia, this thriving 13 year old is loving life to its fullest. He never passes up the opportunity to get involved and help out others. His Mother and brother Tito are very involved in “giving back”. His mother often remembers how much time she spent at our Family Resource Center, where she did most of her office work while in the hospital. They volunteer often and help out other families in need. They are very much a part of the ENF family.
Donate today to keep ENF’s Family Resource Center up and running for families like Oscar’s!
Hailey is a wonderful 6-year old, she likes to paint, and play with her younger sister. She wants to be a nurse when she grows up. She was diagnosed with kidney cancer, on both kidneys when she was only 10 months old. When she was diagnosed, the cancer was very advanced and despite chemotherapy, she lost both kidneys and received dialysis until she found a kidney donor in Sept 2010.
“ENF worked closely with us every step of the way. The quality of their service and the kindness of the staff have been a source of comfort all these years. We could not make it without the Ride with Emilio transportation services” Hailey’s mom.
Donate to Ride with Emilio’s Transportation Program to help kids like Hailey get to treatment on time and safely!!
Joel is an energetic, loving little 3 year old. Like most toddlers his age is very curious, and active. Anyone who comes in contact with him falls immediately in love with him. Joel has a very loving close family. His loving sisters and brother adore him and are never out of his sight. Unfortunately, he is battling pre-leukemia. Joel’s mother is deeply touched by all that ENF has provided for little Joel and his family. Joel’s Mom is very active in the Sewing for Hope class on Mondays and enjoys sewing for her family. This also gives her a chance to interact with other Moms in similar circumstances. She is so appreciative of even the smallest gestures because she knows these are truly gifts from the heart.
Donate to ENF’s Sewing and Knitting for Hope Program to provide families like Joel’s with new skills and support!!
Jose, lovingly called by the ENF staff as Joselito, is 11 years old. He likes school and playing with his younger sister. He wants to be a firefighter, a police officer and everything life will allow him to become. His life, he would say, is pretty normal, but, at one time, it was marked by numerous visits to the hospital, traveling by bus 5-hours each way, since he was only 1 year old, to get to Rady’s Children’s Hospital in San Diego. In 2003, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. After multiple surgeries, he relapsed 3 more times. When his family enrolled in the ENF’s Transportation Program, Joselito’s trips were reduced to only 90 minutes to and from the hospital.
“ENF is our family, we still come to the hospital frequently and we have to see everybody…like family” – Joselito’s mom
“After our son relapsed with leukemia, our hopes for his survival were few. We faced the difficult decision to continue with chemotherapy or opt for a radical change through a bone marrow transplant (BMT). Both decisions were not too promising. We asked God to guide us in making the right decision and we chose BMT, over chemotherapy, with much uncertainty. Fortunately for us, a friend introduced us to Richard and Diane Nares, who had experienced a similar situation. They found the strength to share their story with us, and gave us the courage to face the challenges of our decision. In spite of only knowing them for a short time, Richard and Diane were committed to helping us through these difficult times, and they became our most avid supporters. They were there for us in every sense, in a way that only family can. Diane spoke in front of our church congregation. The people responded overwhelming and many joined the bone marrow registry that day. They gave us their understanding, they listened to our fears, they shared our emotions, and they comforted us. They were with us through the uncertainty, they supported us from a distance and by visiting us in the most difficult moments of the procedure. And now even though the most difficult times seem to be behind us, they are still with us. For all these, and for the nobility of their souls, we hold Richard and Diane very dear to our hearts.” –Luz, Martin’s mom
When I first found out about Aplastic Anemia, I was lost, and then I met Richard through Mrs. Pam. That was one of the best things that happened to Stefon and me, because then I had someone to talk to that understood what I was going through. Mr. Richard helped us to get help with things I didn’t know I could get help with. Richard and his wife help us with Blood and Bone Marrow Drives. They have made my child one happy little boy. I truly thank Mr. Richard and his foundation very, very, much.
Love, Kathy Harris – 10 year old Stefon’s mother.
“My five year old daughter was diagnosed with Adreno Cortical Carcinoma Cancer last year. The news was heartbreaking and devastating and we felt that our world had come to an end.
We have been blessed with meeting Mr. Richard Nares for the Emilio Nares Foundation. It has been a support in all means; the caring, understanding and meeting our needs wherever possible, but overall always finding an answer or solution to our questions.
We would like to thank the foundation once again for all you have done in making the difference in this difficult journey. We know and feel that the Emilio Nares Foundation is, in brief words: Somebody to count on and a shoulder to lean on.”
Now, Melanie is 13 years old and has been off treatment for 9 years!