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Mile by Mile, He Cares for Kids

Kevin King

Kevin King spends his free time transporting patients to and from Kansas.

The distance between Kevin King’s hometown and our hospital is 360 miles. That’s five and a half hours on the road. He’ll drive that route multiple times a year with a family in tow.

Surprisingly to most: That family isn’t his, at least not by blood.

King is a Driver Dad. He volunteers to transport patients to and from Shriners Children’s St. Louis – to their check-ups, their surgeries, their prosthetics appointments, etc.

That means early mornings, late night nights and more than 700 miles driven in a single day.

“I have found out that giving, whether it be financially or of time, talent and effort, is so rewarding,” reflected King.

King is one of hundreds of Driver Dads across our international healthcare system that devote time and energy to the simple task of transportation.

“Our Driver Dads log hundreds of thousands of miles every year simply to get patients safely to and from their appointments. They drive with a servant’s heart and with the knowledge that these kids are getting the most amazing care anywhere,” explained Kenny Craven, Shriners International Imperial Potentate.

King’s first trip to the St. Louis hospital as a Driver Dad was a formative one. “The first trip I made to the hospital, I met a young man named Brody. Brody had casts on both legs and he was under 2 years old. I found out that was his 22nd set of casts and I cabbaged on to him! Since then, we’ve become friends. We’ve got a bond and now I’m a grandpa. I get goosebumps talking about it. He means so much to me,” he said.

However, it was not his role of “Driver Dad,” but rather Dad, that first brought him to Shriners Children’s St. Louis. King’s daughter, Erin, had surgery on both arms during high school. That experience is what inspired King to become a Shriner 12 years ago.

“I didn’t take it lightly that the surgery could have been tens of thousands of dollars. So, every spare moment I have, I give to transporting kids back and forth to the hospital, fundraising for the hospital or just having fun with the kids and the fellowship with my brothers,” said King.

He makes good on that promise every time he grabs the keys and heads down the road, with a patient safely buckled into the backseat.

“These kids don’t know ‘stop’ … they come bebopping in that hospital like they own the place. It’s just the neatest thing in the world,” said King.

Kansas Shriner Connects Deeply to the Mission

Kevin met a young boy on his first volunteer trip to Shriners Children's St. Louis. That relationship solidified his continued and dedicated service as a "driver dad".
View Transcript

Speaker 1:

The first trip I made to the hospital, I met a young man named Brody, and I found out later that was his 22nd set of casts, and I just cabbaged onto him. I just had to be part of that little boy's life. We sat in the waiting room there at St. Louis and we were rolling a ball back and forth, and he was an active little tyke, and that's the pleasant way I can put him, he's ornery.

That wasn't good enough for him. He got up and started to run away, and it was a Nerf ball, so I just chucked it at him and I hit him and he giggled and he laughed and threw the ball back to me, and so I threw it at him again. And since then, we became friends and it so happened I was on a hospital trip with Mirza two weeks later, and he was there again. Well, now we've got a bond, and now I'm a grandpa and I get goosebumps talking about it. He means so much to me. I've helped him more than... He's helped me, more than I've helped him, let me put it that way.

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