Nares and his foundation stepped in, saving them a significant amount of travel time each day.
Today, Nares' group provides more than 2,500 rides a year, traveling more than 70,000 miles. It operates out of Rady and Orange County Children's Hospital.
In addition to the free rides, Nares' nonprofit provides support services and assistance to its clientele, many of whom do not speak English. Nares' group offers translation services and an on-site resource center at Rady to help them navigate the often-complex insurance systems, legal issues and medical diagnoses.
"Most of the families that we're dealing with are not just low-income, but they are living in poverty," Nares said.
On Saturday, Nares will begin his "Richard Runs California" fundraiser to help children fighting cancer. He will run 700 miles over 30 days, starting in San Francisco and ending in San Diego.
He says his work not only saves children's lives, but it keeps Emilio's memory alive as well.
"He really is the force," Nares said. "Even though he's been passed away almost 13 years, it's still like he's with me. Like he's still on my shoulder or still pulling my ear like he used to."
Want to get involved? Check out the Emilio Nares Foundation website at www.enfhope.org and see how to help.