A South Florida hospital received a helping hand in bringing smiles to young patients that have overcome tough battles. A local cancer center gives away free iPads to patients who have finished treatment. They were running out of the gadgets, until a local company saved the day.
Call it an added incentive for kids to keep up the fight.
"We're here on behalf of AutoNation to hand out a bunch of brand-spankin' new iPads to some really special kids," said Patrick Starapoli, race car driver.
Starapoli stopped by Alex's Place, the pediatric unit at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Tuesday in Miami.
"I'm excited to see the look on these kids' faces," he said.
The company donated 45 iPads that are handed out when kids finish treatment and are cancer-free. Kids like 12-year-old Jondris Fernandez, who battled leukemia.
"You need to go through it," Fernandez said. "The doctor's take good care and everything.
The program has been around for several years and coincidentally was down to its last iPad when the opportunity came along. The car retailer, which had extra iPads on hand, decided to donate the gadgets instead of return them.
"It's all about people helping people, people loving people, people giving back to the community," said Jeff Shupert with AutoNation.
Giving back that goes a long way.
"A symbol of them transitioning to a new stage of their lives, cancer-free, hopefully forever. This will be, one day, a distant memory in their lives," said Dr. Julio C. Barredo with the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center.