Started 1 petition

Petitioning Sally Mason

Give free parking to long term pediatric care patients at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics

My granddaughter was diagnosed with Leukemia on 1/29/13. Up until that time, I was not aware of the parking issues at the University of Iowa Hospital. The costs were outrageous. It was costing up to $18.00 a day to park. Add that to the worries about your child with cancer, the costs of gas to get to the facility, eating, lodging, insurance co-pays and deductibles, etc., it is overwhelming for families to deal with. When you have a child with long term care, be it cancer, premature birth, or a myriad of other health issues, it takes a toll on our Iowa families. Most end up dropping to one income families, as was the case with my daughter's family as she lost her job due to being absent to take care of her child. At least one parent stays at the hospital for weeks, months and sometimes much longer. To try to address this issue, I started a group on Face-book called GrampsvsRamps. I was astonished by the support which quickly mounted. Story after story of the hardships families were facing with the parking charges adding insult to misery. I bombarded the University of Iowa with e-mails and a change did occur. They have reduced the parking rates to a maximum of $10 a day. While this does help, it does not take care of the problem. I believe more can and should be done. The University also made available a free parking option at the Hawk Lot. While this is an excellent idea on paper, it unfortunately does not work in the case of a sick child. In order to use this free option, you must obtain a pass from the transportation department which is located at the bus station. You then go to the Hawk lot and ride the Cambus back to the hospital. This needs to be done during the hours that the Cambus is running. Many of these sick children are immunocompromised. Riding the Cambus could expose them to unnecessary risks. Children with cancer, have to be admitted quite frequently when they run a fever. Just the other night, my daughter was on a fever run to Iowa City at 1 A.M. There was no other option than to park in a ramp. With a fever, the minimum stay is 3 days but can go longer depending on circumstances. Now the big decisions come into play. Does she buy a 3 day parking pass? Does she wait and buy a weekly pass? Does she move her vehicle to the free lot only to have my granddaughter wake in the middle of the night and want her mommy to go buy her strawberry milk? She does need to leave the hospital at unexpected times to go buy different items which they may have forgotten to pack or things my granddaughter wants to make her happy. Does she need to keep moving her vehicle back and forth? There has to be a way to obtain free parking passes for these parents. I ask for your support to find a way to fund parking to help these families. NO PARENT SHOULD EVER HAVE TO PAY TO VISIT THEIR SICK CHILD!!!!!

417 supporters