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Parking Concerns at UIHC

IOWA CITY, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28)--We spoke with Tom Leohr. His granddaughter has been battling leukemia for almost a year now.

He says seeing families who couldn't afford to pay the parking rates prompted him to fight for change.

Fighting a disease as deadly as cancer is tough for everyone involved but for Tom Leohr, something else was also worth fighting for.

"It was never about me and my family. I'll pay. I'll plug the meter out here, he said.

Tom's granddaughter Kylee has leukemia.

For months the family had to drive two hours from Denver to the University of Iowa Children's Hospital.

There they found that parking was a hassle for many families.

"The mom is dropped off at the front door with the little girl and the dad has to drive home, said Leohr.

Thats because daily parking at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics is 18 dollars.

For those who spend months at the hospital that's a big deal.

"Is it worth it? Yeah because I'm going to be with my child every day. Is it necessary? No. said Kerri Leohr, Kylees Mom.

So Tom got in contact with university executives.

He says he sent numerous emails and started this Facebook page called Gramps vs Ramps.

After a long wait, Tom says the university took action.

Cutting the fee to ten dollars for patients and visitors whose tickets are validated.

"That's partly in response to the recent issues that have been raised, said Dave Ricketts, Director of Parking and Transportation at the University.

Dave Ricketts says they cut back on some ramp projects.

"By not doing that we can afford it. At least in the short run. We can see what happens going forward, he said.

Tom says more can and should be done for families to be with their loved ones long-term, but this is a good start.

As for Kylee she is in remission and her last day of radiation is tomorrow.
 
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