UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital gives patients' families cars for Christmas

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- As the crowd counted down and the black covers were pulled off four cars, it was a moment four families never imagined, the moment they saw at least part of their tremendous burden lifted.

Unique Walker is a foster Mom with three young children who all need regular care at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital. Until now, she's been shuttling them from their home in Pittsburg to Oakland, without a car.

"I love it. It's beautiful. It's truly a blessing. I'm grateful," said Walker as she checked out her black Toyota sedan at the unveiling.



Walker was among four families to receive refurbished cars from Geico, part of its "12 Cars for Christmas Campaign." Caliber Collision did the car makeovers and Enterprise donated some new car seats for the kids.

"A lot of our patients and families have difficulties commuting to their medical appointments and this is one way that we're able to give back to them in a very meaningful way," said Shabren Harvey-Smith with UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

Anna Cornelius was renting a car at least once a month to get her young daughter from Sacramento to Oakland for the girl's blood transfusions.

"Now I can come to the hospital without worrying and without the expenses that have been way too much," said Cornelius, who told us she was spending nearly $200 some months to get her daughter to Children's Hospital.

Nine-year-old Cesar Martinez told us it was the happiest day of his life, as he stood next to the grey sedan his family received, the trunk filled with gift cards and presents.

"Thanks, everyone for giving us this car and all of this to us," said young Martinez as he stood next to his mother and younger brother. "Merry Christmas to all."

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