The ENF Story
When Emilio was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), his parents Richard and Diane 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.
Richard and Diane 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 serves 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.
Through their own journey, the Nareses met hundreds of families without resources to care for a child with cancer. Initial ENF services included guided respite activities, healthy nutrition, emergency financial aid, and monthly Bone Marrow Drives, which added more than 6,000 donors to the Registry (Emilio’s journey included a bone marrow transplant with Richard as donor). ENF launched Ride With Emilio in 2005, after Richard became overwhelmed driving young patients to treatment in his personal vehicle when they had no other transportation options. Ride With Emilio now serves as a gateway for patient families to access the other critical programs of the Emilio Nares Foundation.
Current ENF programs fill the gaps in mainstream healthcare that low-income families face daily. These include healthy nutrition (Emilio's Healthy Snack Bags), easy navigation to additional community services (ENF Resource Center), guided stress relief to help heal and cope (Creating for Hope knitting, sewing and crocheting), and sadly, facing and paying for the death of a child due to cancer. Funds may include dealing with the impact of lost wages when a parent will not leave their dying child's bedside for weeks at a time, burial costs, and emergency funds (End of Life Child and Family Care). Finally, Emilio's Loving Tabs shirts improve the treatment process for children and medical providers. When chemotherapy is administered, only tabs need to be unsnapped on the shoulder of the shirt making the experience a little more bearable for the child.
We invite you to learn more about us on our website at www.enfhope.org, or give us a call we would love to hear from you! 858-571-3328