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Fix Auto Collision Centers of Oregon has participated for the second consecutive year in NABC’s national vehicle donation program, Recycled Rides. Already supporters of Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, Fix Auto found the family of Alex Smith, a patient at Doernbecher, an easy choice for this year’s donation.
The 19-month-old Alex was diagnosed with infant leukemia in May 2010. After undergoing intensive chemotherapy treatment, a bone marrow transplant and many months at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, he was recently discharged. Due to complications, however, he continues to split time between the hospital and his home in Vancouver, Wash. Even when out of the hospital, Alex makes multiple trips a week to the pediatric oncology clinic to get treatment. It’s essential to Alex’s care and to his family’s well-being and financial stability that he has reliable transportation.
As a Recycled Rides recipient, the Smith family will receive a refurbished car as well as a gas card and other gifts, compliments of a long list of program sponsors from within the auto industry. Recycled Rides is a community awareness project in which participating auto collision repair shops donate refurbished vehicles to families in need throughout the U.S. Only 25 shops participated in Recycled Rides in 2006, but this year there will be over 150 vehicle donations.
Through the national vehicle donation program, the participating body shop teams up with a local insurance company which donates the car to be repaired. This year, Esurance provided the vehicle, and Dick Hanna Dealerships and LKQ donated parts.
Fix Auto Portland owner J.R. Carlson said his employees also played a key role in getting the car in top shape for this family. He even had employees volunteer to come in on their day off to work on it.
"It’s easy as a business owner to get wrapped up in our day-to-day struggles business to the door, a difficult repair but it’s programs like Recycled Rides and families like the Smiths that really put everything in perspective," Carlson said. "We’re thankful we’re able to participate in Recycled Rides. By giving away a car, we’re able to make a significant difference in this family’s life."
Doernbecher representative Rowena Moore said that the Smith family is well-known and loved on the Pediatric Oncology unit.
"Despite having her hands full caring for a very sick child, Chrissy [Smith] often reached out to other parents and offered support," said Moore. "We’re beyond excited to partner with Fix Auto Collision and KDCCP again this year to make life a little bit easier for this special family."