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Cool Kid helps needy families save money

July 31, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
When his younger brother was diagnosed with cancer, Cool Kid Vinnie Vanillo felt many emotions. One of those was the concern for his family and the long drive they had to make to get treatment at the City of Hope in Duarte. "It was about a 120-mile trip from Hesperia to [Duarte], and I realized that gas was a necessity," Vinnie said.

Vinnie saw that many patients at various children's hospitals had to deal with the cost of a long drive to get treatment. This motivated him to start raising funds for gas cards to give to needy families. Vinnie set out to get everyone caught up in his mission.

"I had teachers help me and got involved in it," Vinnie said. "They told students about it. It was a real chain reaction of events that occurred."

The City of Hope medical staff uses its considerable skills to help patients. They also know that treatment is about more than just medicine and surgery.

"It's the ability to bring the families together and keep the families in touch, and I think Vinnie recognized that as a very important part of what was going to make his brother feel better," Dr. Judith Sato said.

Vinnie's work paid off, and he was able to give a little relief to those dealing with difficult times.

"I felt that I was actually doing something to contribute, make their lives a little bit easier," Vinnie said. "It really was a rewarding feeling. Their faces lit up when I gave them their cards."

There is a lot to overwhelm a family during a medical crisis. Doing his part to lift some of that burden, he is our Cool Kid, Vinnie Vanillo.

Know a deserving young adult who should be one of the ABC7 Cool Kids? Share their story and nominate someone today.

 

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