OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - Dianne Linares and her son Gio are frequent BART riders. Hopping on board is one of the 11-year-old's favorite things to do. It all started nine years ago when Gio had surgery and was in a coma for six to seven days.
"There's a BART train that goes right by children's hospital and when he woke up he would just ask everyone to be really, really quiet and he would try to listen to the sounds from BART," says Dianne Linares.
When Gio was two he was diagnosed with Williams Syndrome a genetic condition that is present at birth and can affect anyone. Since his diagnosis he's had two surgeries.
"He had calcium issues, his skull absorbed too much calcium, which made it stop growing and his brain continued to grow. So it busted the nerves in his eyes and he went blind," says Linares.
On Memorial Day Weekend a total stranger that Gio met on BART showed an enormous act of kindness.
“The gentleman offered to give Gio a gift so we took the gift and the doors shut and we noticed it was a very generous ticket," says Linares. More than $100 for Gio to ride the rails but the family didn't get to say thank you. "Gio just wants to say thank you. He said, 'Mom lets go back up. Lets go find him on the train' and I said no he's gone," says Linares.
So she reached out looking for the man and that's where KTVU came in. We contacted BART, which is not only helping look for the generous stranger, but is giving Gio the time of his life.
"We were thinking we have got to reach out to this family and offer Gio this really cool BART experience," says BART Spokeswoman Alicia Trost.
Gio had the chance to meet the new BART police chief, who gave him badge. He then met one of BART's K9's and then it was off to the operation control center. That's where Gio got an extra-large vest and then it was time for what he wanted to do most.
Ride the BART, from Lake Merritt to the airport and beyond. Although this is a day Gio will never forget his mom still holds out hope to meet the man that started this all from a small act of kindness that has gone a long way.
"It’s nice to know we're able to see these kind hearted... it’s not just so negative it’s a positive thing," says Linares.