Revera’s Cars 4 Kids helps young patients
MADISON – A.J. Revera has flipped a traumatic, childhood episode into a path to brighten days for hospitalized children.
Revera, a junior at Bob Jones High School, has launched Cars 4 Kids. Individuals can donate new remote control cars for patients at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
“When I was eight years old, I had a bone marrow transplant,” Revera said. “It was a very rough time for me and my family. The staff at Vanderbilt they gave me a remote control car so I could walk around the hospital floor when I was feeling better. I’m collecting cars to help give back when so much was given to me,” Revera said.
Revera always has wanted to show his appreciation to the Vanderbilt community. “My parents, along with child life services, did everything they could to make my stay positive,” he said. “I remember how sick I was, but I also remember the fun I had driving my remote control car, racing other kids on the floor.”
In July-August of 2009, Revera was hospitalized 31 days at the Vanderbilt hospital. He then lived an additional month in Nashville for proximity to the hospital and was homeschooled the rest of the school year to allow his immune system to rebuild.
Surprisingly, Revera doesn’t remember the stay as a bad experience but does remember being very sick. In addition, he made new friends, played games with his parents and called/Skyped friends and relatives back home.
“I had a lot of rough times, but there were also positive moments,” Revera said. “I hope to pay it forward and help bring that little bit of fun to other sick kids.”
Cars 4 Kids will run through Oct. 6. Anyone can drop off a car at Bob Jones front office, Drama Room S102 and Debbie Scott’s Room B102.
At Bob Jones, Revera participates with Beta Club, track and field team, Bob Jones Ambassadors, National Honor Society and Patriot Players theatre troupe.
Originally, Revera presented his idea to Beta Club sponsor Debbie Scott. “She couldn’t have been more supportive. She helped me promote the project and get Beta Club members behind it,” he said.
Currently, Revera is completely healthy. His childhood diagnosis of aplastic anemia prompted the marrow transplant. “Aplastic anemia is a failure of bone marrow to produce blood cells. One of my younger brothers, Austin, was the donor,” A.J. said.
A.J.’s parents are Greg and Cindy Revera. “My dad is an attorney who owns Revera Law Firm LLC. My mom is the best mom I could ever ask for. Both my parents are super supportive of this project, along with everything else my brothers and I do,” A.J. said.
For more information, email Cars4KidsBJHS@gmail.com.