The Emilio Nares Foundation helps families navigate through their child’s journey with cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Emilio Nares

Emilio’s Story

When Emilio was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), his parents Richard & Diane Nares, felt their world turned upside down cycling through emotions including fear, promise, desperation, and hope. Despite a relapse, intensive chemotherapy, marrow registry search, and a transplant, the Nares family say they felt lucky. They had family, friends, even strangers reaching out to help them. However, while living at the hospital, it became clear not everyone has the same kind of support.

After Emilio passed away just before his sixth birthday, he passed the torch on to his parents who honored his memory by creating the Emilio Nares Foundation (ENF) to help low-income underserved families meet basic needs, especially transportation. Emilio’s spirit can be felt in the hundreds of young patients ENF helps annually — laughter in the van, a comforting hand during hard times at the hospital, and the smiling eyes of our families. He looks after us all.

Our Patients Are Family

Your donations make a profound difference on their road to recovery

Give Today

Awards & Recognition

Richard Nares CNN Hero
President Obama Honors Richard Nares
Richard Nares was selected as a 2015 honoree of “the one hundred,” created and supported by Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. It recognizes 100 individuals and groups from around the globe whose commitment to the fight against cancer is inspiring and revolutionary.
ENF was selected in 2013 by members of the Padres’ Hispanic Community Leadership Council (HCLC) for its dedication to improving the lives of families and youth, specifically in the area of children’s health. The award pays tribute to individuals or organizations whose work makes a positive impact on those who live and work in San Diego’s Hispanic community
ENF’s “Loving Tabs” shirt project was selected as one of six LEAD San Diego Leadership Action Team Initiative recipients in 2012. LEAD San Diego annually renews its commitment to community service through its Leadership Action Team Initiative, the service-learning component of its 10-month signature program, IMPACT San Diego.
KPBS and Union Bank honored Richard Nares during Hispanic Heritage Month in 2011. The Local Heroes Award is the culmination of a year-long celebration of diversity that recognizes 17 people who are making a difference to enrich the lives of others.
In 2011, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) honored Richard Nares among 10 people who have overcome daunting odds to improve the health and quality of life for disadvantaged and underserved communities across the country.

Corporate Partners

ENF is grateful for this year’s foundations, corporations, and people like you who make our work possible.

American Cancer Society
Charles Nares & Sally McPherson
Children's Health - Rest Haven logo
Community Health Group
Conrad Prebys Foundation
County of San Diego logo
Day for Change
Gap Intelligence
Hyundai logo
J.W. Sefton Foundation
Johnson & Johnson Matching
Local Media San Diego
Mark & Jennie Johnson
Rite Aid Foundation
RiverStone Resources
Ellis Family Foundation
French Fund
Soapy Joe's logo
Soapy Joe's logo
The San Diego Foundation
Trustee Corps logo
Vision System, Inc
Zlotnik Law

For more information on how to become a sponsor or corporate partner, please contact Development Director Diana Lopez at

Meet our Administrative & Development Team

Elsa Morales-Roth

Elsa Morales-Roth
Executive Director

Luz Quiroga

Luz Quiroga
Director of Programs

Rosa Moreno
Human Resources and Accounting Manager

Diana Lopez
Institutional Giving Manager

Meet our Programs Team

Gabriela Perez-Vargas

Gaby Perez-Vargas
Family Resource Center Coordinator

Margarita Nuño

Margarita Nuño
Transportation Associate

Juan Carlos Flores

Juan Carlos Flores
San Diego Driver

Gloria Chavez

Gloria Chavez
San Diego Driver

Manuela Espinoza

Manuela Espinoza
Orange County Driver

Blanca Lopez

Blanca Lopez
Orange County Driver

Ride with Emilio logo

Ruben Acosta
Imperial Valley Driver

Co-Founders and ENF Advocates

Richard & Diane Nares

Richard & Diane Nares

Board of Directors

Christine LazottChair
Children’s Health Plan of California

Elizabeth BrannVice Chair
Paul Hastings, LLP

Andy ZlotnikImmediate Past Chair
Zlotnik Law

Nate Beasley
San Diego Gulls

Paul Broussard

Corey Collins
In-N-Out Burger

Jack Corrao II
Corrao Group LLC

Michele Greer
CompliHealth Consulting Inc.

Chris Larson
Roku, Inc

Gregg Wolfson
Local Media San Diego

Victor Wong, MD
Rady Children’s Hospital