Cars donated to local military families caring for sick children

Vehicles donated by Progressive Insurance

SAN DIEGO - It was an emotional day Wednesday for two local military families who each received a donated car.

Rachel Hudson could not hold back the tears.

"I'm really happy, honestly, tears of joy, yeah," Hudson told 10News.

She expressed joy and gratitude for the PT Cruiser she was sitting inside. It was just donated to her family.       

That is because her 2-month-old son is at Rady Children's Hospital. He has had two surgeries so far. The first one was when he was just 3 days old.

"One for his heart and one related to his liver," said Hudson.

The family does not have a car, so getting appointments and hospital has been a challenge.

"I've been taking cabs and for Rady Children's Hospital, I would just walk," she said.

Her husband serves in the Guam National Guard and is now in Afghanistan.

"I can't believe that there's actually people out there who can help families in need," Hudson said.

A Hyundai XG350 was donated to another local military family. Their daughter has undergone multiple surgeries and their car has broken down twice.

"This is just amazing," said mother Christine Chinyoung. "We've been renting cars and stuff like that."

Her 4-year-old daughter Maddie was born premature, only weighing 1 pound 3 ounces.

"Pretty much spent the first year of her life in the hospital," said Chinyoung, whose husband serves in the Navy. 

The family has spent a lot of time on the road going to the hospital.

"I just stop counting after 10 surgeries," said Chinyoung.

They make several trips a month to Los Angeles.

"We go up there a lot for different programs, clinical trials," she said.

Maddie just had a major surgery last week and is on a waiting list for a few more.

"She is on the list for liver and intestines, so pretty much at 6 weeks she lost about 90 percent of her intestines," said Chinyoung.

Progressive Insurance and the National Auto Body Council had the former Enterprise rental cars refurbished. The families also received $3,000 worth of gas cards and the auto insurance will be covered by Progressive.

Maddie lit up with joy when the kids got baskets filled with new toys.

"She thought it was her birthday party," laughed Chinyoung. "She just had a birthday."

This is the second year for the program in San Diego.


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