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Craig WiIIiamson

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CHERUBS - The Association of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Research
August 8, 2013

I first learned about CDH when I met my wife, Dawn, who is the founder of CHERUBS. She lost her only child to CDH in 1999. My first experience with the charity was helping to plan a conference and ball in North Carolina. I was able to meet families and I am always impressed at the dedication and impact my wife has had with her work at CHERUBS. I taunt her about being a "CDH celebrity" because everyone knows her name and because of the internet attacks she deals with as if she wasn't a person. People around the world know her and she works with politicians and celebrities to help these kids. No one else has done that and I am very proud of her.

I attend events and I support Dawn and CHERUBS and I have seen it grow from a small charity into a global one in the 7 years we have been together. When we first got married baby items were all over our home. They were stacked in our guest room, in our children's closets, under their beds and filled our attic. After 2 years I made the decision that CHERUBS had to leave our home because there was not room and because Dawn needed time off of work. At the time she was working 2 full time jobs and we had no time with her. I asked her to make a choice between jobs and I asked that she choose her company to contribute to our family. She chose CHERUBS because she wouldn't abandon CDH families. Her Board took a risk and hired her rather than lose her 3 years ago. With an office and 1 job, Dawn has done more in 3 years than 15 years. Instead of congratulating her and CHERUBS on all their accomplishments, her salary is being put on the internet and people are shaming her. She does not make $40,000 but what if she did? Most NPO execs make over $60,000 a year. Most company execs who oversee 4000 people make well over $100,000. Dawn is paid pennies of what she is worth and she would still be volunteering if she had her say. If she is successfully running the charity she should be duly compensated. What she makes is no one's business but hers and the Boards. If you think she is greedy or after money then you have never met my wife. She would turn our home into a homeless shelter and give away everything we have if I let her.

In the 7 years we have been together I have seen the dark side of CDH. I have watched my wife cry for her son and visit his grave. I have sat beside her in court many times when she had to take out a restraining order against a "competitor". I was there at the entire trial and I have watched my wife and my family be a victim time and again simply because she choose to help CDH families. That woman looks at my Linked In page, she contacted Dawn's ex-husband, she even had IRS auditors in our home in front of our kids because she filed a false complaint to try to shut CHERUBS down. For 10 years she has tried to harm my wife and our family in any way possible. I have read the blogs she posts about our family, our finances and our life that are not only none of her business but not even close to true. The only person coming between her and my lawyer is my wife and this person should be very grateful. My wife has too much class to do the same to this person or her family and she should be very grateful for that as well. Because my wife started a charity out of the goodness of her heart in memory of our son it does not give anyone the right to pry into our private lives, to publicly slander my wife or to stalk our family.

I won't comment on what type of man I think the British man whose wife runs a charity for the things he's done to my wife. What type of man accosts a woman alone by herself in another country and then writes such trash for the world to see? She has a very soft heart and I know she was proud to help you as much as she could. To pay her back her kindness you've betrayed her and the charity. She is a good woman and you are no man. I will be more of a gentleman to your wife than you have been to mine and not name either of you so harm doesn't come to your reputations. You owe my wife an apology and gratitude.

For everyone that thinks my wife runs CHERUBS alone and makes all the decisions, you haven't seen the committee meetings she holds or the volunteers she has had in our home. You don't know the conference calls she takes late at night or e-mails she responds to all evening long. My wife is the most honest person I have ever known. If she says something it is true and she always has proof of everything she says. I know, I've tried arguing with her. She is also the hardest worker I have ever met and loyal to the extreme. She has tried to help every single person who started their own charities. Some took advantage of her and now attack her but she still acts like a lady. I have never seen anyone give more of themselves or have the dedication and passion she does for CHERUBS. Having a wife so involved in CDH and grief every day is not easy on our family. Having her attacked for her charity work makes me want to make her quit and find a job that pays more with less stress. She never will. I am proud of all she has done and proud to be married to such a beautiful woman inside and out. My only regret is not having the opportunity to meet Shane.

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2013

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