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UPDATE: Free Parking At UI Children's Hospital

Updated: Thursday, July 3 2014, 06:03 PM CDT

IOWA CITY, IA(CBS2/FOX28)--Earlier this year, we told you about new discounted parking rates at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.


The change came after numerous complaints from family members of patients at the hospital.


Now families are applauding more good news coming from the University of Iowa Children's Hospital.


"My daughter called us right away and read it to us and I had to have her read it two or three times,” said Tom Leohr, organizer of Gramps VS. Ramps.


A letter signaling a dream come true.


"The feeling is that of gratitude for those people that listened.”


It's a journey that began early last year after learning that his granddaughter, Kylee, was suffering from leukemia.


It prompted numerous visits to the hospital, sometimes even overnight.


Those trips meant hundreds of dollars in parking fees.


“It wasn't fair,” Tom said.


So he started a campaign to turn things around.


"I sent Sally Mason and everybody but Herky at the U an email weekly,” he said.


He even created this Facebook page called Gramps vs. Ramps.


All in an effort to get the families of sick children free parking.


The University of Iowa Parking and Transportation Department responded in January by offering discounted parking rates.


Starting July first, folks at the children's hospital took it a step further.


"Essentially what we're doing is providing parking free of charge to those pediatric families who have children who are admitted to the hospital's inpatients or who routinely return to the hospital for ongoing care,” said UI spokesperson, Tom Moore.


That means of hospitalized patients 18 and younger park for free.


"This is a commitment that's been made by the leadership of University of Iowa children's Hospital. This is something that we thought we could absolve into this year's budget,” he said.


In the notice the children's hospital sent out, they say changes were made after listening to families who expressed interest in such a program.


"Gramps" isn't taking any credit for it. Instead he says he's grateful for the long awaited change.


"Overwhelmed, I'm pretty happy, pretty happy,” he said.


Under the new program, one parking pass will be provided to each family per calendar day.


The passes are valid for hospital parking ramps 1, 3 and 4 and the lot next to the college of dentistry building.


Families with multiple cars can still take advantage of the existing discounted parking rates.

UPDATE: Free Parking At UI Children's Hospital


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