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The one hundred honoree: Richard Nares

Donor Story

The one hundred honoree: Richard Nares

Mass General Giving

Cancer puts stress on a family in all kinds of ways—from the devastating diagnosis to the burdens of treatment. Richard Nares relieves families in California’s San Diego, Orange and Imperial Counties of at least one worry—getting young cancer patients to and from their medical appointments.

Richard launched Ride with Emilio in 2005, providing families free door-to-door service in his old Buick. He understood firsthand the toll that taking care of a child with cancer can have on a family. He and his wife Diane lost their five-year-old son, Emilio, to acute lymphoblastic leukemia after a three-year battle. In the wake of Emilio’s death, they founded the Emilio Nares Foundation (ENF), and Ride with Emilio has become its flagship program.

“When Richard Nares learned that many children miss their appointments—be it for doctor check-ins or infusions—because they lack transportation, he knew something had to be done and he did it,” says one nominator.

Today, Ride with Emilio boasts two vans and serves an average of 30-40 families per week in San Diego County, 15 families per week in Orange County and 10-15 families in Imperial County. Families are transported from as far as 50 miles away to Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, San Diego Medical Center/Kaiser Foundation Hospital, Naval Medical Center San Diego, Sharp Memorial Hospital, Scripps Proton Therapy Center and Children’s Hospital of Orange County.

ENF also provides emergency assistance, including funds for rent, groceries and utilities, to low-income families facing childhood cancers.