Mile by Mile, He Cares for Kids
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.
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.
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