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CDH International

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Birth Defects & Genetic Diseases Research, Health, Pediatrics Research

Mission: For a quarter of a century, CDH International (formerly known as CHERUBS) has fought Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. Our only mission at CDH International is to help families affected by CDH by searching for the cause, prevention and best treatments of Congenital Diaphragmatic through research and awareness while supporting the CDH community. We focus on the whole CDH community, not personal motives or missions, one patient, one hospital or one country. We believe in supporting all CDH families, no matter the medical choices that they make for their children. Our mission is to provide accurate and timely information so that parents can make the best educated decisions for their babies. Our goal is to create and provide as many services as possible so that no CDH family feels alone. We have accomplished that for over 6300 CDH families.

Results: * Over $1,000,000 raised * World's largest natural history CDH Registry * Collaborations with research centers around the world * Patient Advocacy with the CDH Study Group * Collaboration with the World Health Organization * Collaborations with the Rare Disease Community * Proclamations from the US Senate and 50 Governors * Work with the NIH * Light Ups of major buildings around the world * Lobbying on Capitol Hill for CDH Awareness and Research Funding for hospitals * Founding member organization of the Alliance of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Organizations * Mentored over a dozen new non-profits * NGOs in 3 countries * Providing free support and information to over 6300 patient families in 70 countries

Target demographics: families of babies born with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia

Geographic areas served: International

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Community Stories

249 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

15

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am the mom to an 8 year old CDH survivor. I have been a member of CHERUBS since she was born, started serving on committees approximately 5 years ago, and have been a member of the board for almost 3 years. I served as the Treasurer for CHERUBS for about 2 years, and then moved to the role of Vice-President about a year ago. Through volunteering in these roles, I have had an inside view of CHERUBS for many years and am aware of all facets of the charity- the volunteers, the members of all 3 boards, and the finances. I am proud to say that CHERUBS is run by a team of wonderfully dedicated volunteers led by the charity's sole employee, the President of CHERUBS, Dawn Williamson. It takes a lot of hours, and people from many areas of the world, and with many talents to serve the CDH community. All of the volunteers that I have come in contact with from State Representatives, to Hospital Angels, to those who work on the various committees, to the Parent Advisory Board, and the Executive Board serve dutifully with professionalism and respect to see that families get the help they need while working to raise awareness of CDH and money to further research that is so desperately needed. From my role as Treasurer, and with continued knowledge of the finances of the charity as an executive board member, I can assure you that every donated dollar is used to the best of its ability to help the cause. Meticulous care is taken to see that donations are spent only in the manner with which the donor specifies (research, family assistance, awareness, etc.), and that money is never wasted. I am proud to count myself as a member of the CHERUBS team.

Donor

Rating: 3

We have a 4 year old CDH kiddo and we actually didn't learn about CHERUBS or CDH international until about one year after she was born. I had no idea we actually had an organization who cares so much about our kids battles. We have done a few fundraisers and donated to CHERUBS and continue to do so with a Facebook group we created called "Allie's Project Matters". We recently attended tje CDH conference in Nashville and learned alot in our short stay. We look forward to helping out CDH international more in the future!

CWeaver5485

Client Served

Rating: 5

Cherubs is more than a charity ..its a "family " ..made of people who know exactly how you feel because they have been or are currently on that same journey as you are ..always a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen ..no better support you can find

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CHERUBS IS NOT JUST A SUPPORT GROUP ~ ONCE A MEMBER YOU BECOME FAMILY ! They are there through the ups and downs of that CDH rollercoaster and always provide support, love and comfort. I dont know where my family would be without them . When my granddaughter was diagnosed at 17 weeks I didnt know where to turn when the doctors were telling my daughter it was best to just abort the pregnancy because the survival rate was not good. They couldnt answer the numerous questions we had so I went to the computer and researched it , there I found my new found "family" , people whom I could tell my fears and ask questions that the doctors couldnt answer , these members were there , and they could respond with HOPE , because they have been on this roller coaster ride themselves and know the journey were were about to take. CHERUBS has members all over the world , so there is always someone to talk to no matter what time of the day it is

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Milinda Estes F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Almost 13 years ago my husband and I heard the words Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia for the first time. Our son was not even an hour old and our world had been turned upside down. Thankfully I found CHERUBS and had hope. Dawn and all of the volunteers have been there for us from day one. You become family and you know there is always someone you can talk to and them listen because they know what you’re going through. I’m so grateful for Dawn and our CHERUBS family!!!!

Lindsey G.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We were told to terminate our baby boy. That we needed to think of his quality of life or lack of. At 20 weeks pregnant those were the words a medical doctor sat at her desk and said to my husband and I. We walked out of her office and never looked back. She’d given up on our baby and we weren’t willing to. I immediately took to the Internet and found CHerubs. FINALLY people that got it, had lived it and a community of people that become family. The work that Dawn and all of the volunteers put in for the sake of our babies is truly amazing. This journey isn’t always easy however it’s a little easier knowing you always have someone in your corner that completely understands. My family, especially Aiden who is now 2 1/2 is eternally grateful for CDHi and CHerubs!

Heidi F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am volunteering with CDHInternational currently, and in the past on multiple occasions and in various roles, to support families as they make their way through this path with congenital diaphragmatic hernia. My son was born with CDH 22 1/2 yrs ago, and I have been a part of this community of support almost since that first year he was born. The friends and family I have made through this group are in many ways closer than my own family, because we KNOW what we each are going through, and even though few of us live near enough to meet in person, we still support each other the best way we can. CDHinternational has done amazing things to help the CDH community, and I often think of it as the little charity that could... starting from a kitchen table, to an international organization helping families in 70 countries around the world.

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1

Client Served

Rating: 5

over 15 years ago my son was diagnosed with CDH. Back then there was not much available online, but I happened to find CHERUBS... within a couple of weeks I received a packet of information, and those first few years of craziness dealing with a very complex child I had support from all around the country. I have made friends who have been there during the ups and downs these last 15 years, people who KNOW what it is like to deal with such a devastating birth defect that might take your child at any time. He is still with us, despite nearly losing him several times, and I am grateful to know that I am not alone. AND thankfully can share with others that they too are not alone, and perhaps by sharing our stories can also raise awareness for this birth defect, as well as to help other families know what the road ahead might be like so they aren't taken as unaware as those of us in those early days.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dawn works tremendously to help raise awareness and finding for CDH research. She is also very active with numerous personal stories and families in our CDH community. Thank you for everything and also for remembering our sweet Brian Earl
Sincerely,
Carah Hicks

Mary Kate B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CDH International has been my saving grace. When my world came crashing down they were right there to pick me back up. The community that they have provided is unprecedented. I cannot thank Dawn and ever other member of the CDH International team for everything they have done for the CDH community!

Client Served

Rating: 5

CDH International was my saving grace when I learned my first grandchild had CDH. We live in a small town and there was literally no hope! The doctors knew that the baby had CDH but they all said it was a death sentence. A quick google search landed me with this amazing charity. I picked up the phone and made a call to CDHi. Dawn Ireland answered the phone and not only talked this stranger off the ledge but after just a few minutes I had HOPE! She gave me the contact info for doctors that specialized in CDH. I hung up the phone and was able to celebrate the fact that I was going to be a grandmother! My granddaughter will be 7 in September and if it wasn’t for Dawn and CDHi there is no doubt in my mind she wouldn’t be here with us. It takes someone very special to provide HOPE during such a dark time. Dawn does that without giving any false expectations. CDHi and the Cherubs community is very near and dear to my heart!

Wendy B.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

20 years ago we were faced with trying to learn as much as we could about CDH as we brought our son home after surgery and with a feeding tube. Had it not been for the Cherubs/CDHI charity, I dont know where we would have turned. We felt as though our Doctors were learning about CDH as we were. 20 years later we attended our first CDH conference and feel so grateful to be a part this incredible charity full of families that have faced such difficult challenges and loss.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They are amazing when we found out that our son had CDH they sent us all the information about CDH we needed to know.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Full of information pertaining to all aspects of CDH as well as forums and groups for parents to meet other parents in the same situation. Active, concerned, and available pretty much 24/7 so no one ever feels out there by themself if they have a question or issue or need a prayer chain started or want to share a first day of school or graduation photo.

Sara O.

Client Served

Rating: 5

CDHi has been amazing for not only myself, but so many families! After I came home from having my CDHer, we recieved a care package from CDHi filled with so many goodies... it was so nice to have a community supporting us as we went through such a difficult time in our lives!! This organization is also my go to for any and all info I need regarding CDH, because I know all things on their site are facts and comes with data.

McKayla Chaylyn A.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter was born with CDH 8 years ago. She was diagnosed at my 20 week ultra sound and without having these non profit groups to give us the correct info on her diagnosis and the support we have received from them and other families we would have been so lost. We are all so appreciative & grateful to have them!

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1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter was born with left sided CDH, she is now 7 years old & since the time of her diagnosis, my 5 month ultrasound, we have been involved with this non profit, more so over the years as it has grown. It is so nice to be able to connect with other families & know we are not alone. Having their support has made a world of difference to our daughter & us!

Tracy M.3

Board Member

Rating: 5

Our son was born back in 2004 and from the moment we found CHERUBS, now CDH International, it has been a great source for support, a source to learn about CDH research and help contribute to, a source for amazing CDH awareness and overall an amazing charity that a family can turn to and not walk the CDH journey alone. I help run the CHERUBS support division now and I know that we put every penny to good use and that we are making a difference in the CDH community. I couldn't have walked this journey with my son's CDH without this amazing support community and what they are doing in the research field is so much needed. #savethecherubs #cdhi

Amanda Colleen G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dawn Ireland, the founder and president of CHERUBS, is amazing. Everything she does, she does for those affected with CDH and their families. She turned the loss of her son into something that has helped countless CDH families whether it was emotionally or financially. Her organization can back up where every penny goes and has some of the most impressively low overheads compared to better known charities. With CDHi and CHERUBS, you know where your money is going. Dawn has always been a wonderful support system and has provided me with more than one opportunity to share my son’s journey with CDH. I can not say enough positive things about this organization and it’s staff. #savethecherubs

Morgancdhph23

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Found CDH international before it was even created, but they help so many families fellow patients like myself. To find a possible cure, while still helping hundreds of families around the world!! Grew up with CDH but didn’t have any connection as a kid with parents, found CDH groups after finding PH ( Pulmonary Hypertension Association) patients and pages, helped few cherubs families join PH side that still shows PH signs. One giant great community!!!

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1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Grew up with severe left CDH and first found CDH cherubs before my 23rd bday I’m almost 25 now. Been helping families that mention or tag me about PH with CDH since i grew up with the two. And now stable PH for year and half so far. Final 4th CDH repair was 11 years ago and finished July 26th 2008 on my 15th bday almost a decade ago!

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1 Mandy A.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Our daughter was diagnosed with CDH at Birth. Cherubs gave us a community and support to understand her diagnosis. They have given us a place to ask questions, to meet other families, and a chance to meet survivors and give us hope. After the cherubs conference in 2017 I decided I wanted to help and volunteer. I just wanted people to know that there is a community out there who understands what they are going through, and to help give those families hope.

1 Melanie Jensen H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have been involved with Cherubs since after our second daughter died from CDH. Our first 2 children, both girls, past away from this deadly birth defect. We didn’t know about Cherubs until after our second passed away. We are incredibly grateful for them. It was so helpful knowing that others have gone through the same trial. Cherubs has introduced us to many families around the world. My husband and I have been have very involved in Cherubs and adore meeting new family’s. We try not to let our missfourtine destroy our lives. We try to uplift others and cheer them on through the tough times. Cherubs has helped us so much that we want to inspire others to be Cherubs members to support and lift them up.

1 Cheryl S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son was born 13 years ago with CDH! We found out two days before he was born and they sent us to UNC immediately where we were told he most likely would never take his first breath! Well he did take his first breath and spent 4 months in the NICU as well as a year at home on oxygen. During this time we scoured the internet for information and found Cherubs! Dawn was amazing and it was like she was holding our hand every step of this journey we have been on. Even at 13 almost 14 it has been a long and arduous journey. Sometimes Brandon still gets very sick but he has defied many of the odds. He plays saxophone in the band and is a happy relatively healthy normal kid! It would have been extremely hard to do this on our own, but having an organization like Cherubs that understands and helps you to navigate the whole process has been a godsend! For that Dawn and Cherubs will always have a special place in my family’s heart!,,,

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My son was born December 17, 2004. We found out two days before his birth that he had a condition known as a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia or (CDH). He was only given a fifty percent chance of survival, and that was only in the event thathe was able to take his first breath after birth. We were fortunate to be transferred to UNC Childrens Hospital and the staff tried to assist us with our son and this condition.

Once Brandon was born, we scoured the internet for any information that we could find. The only information out there at that time were case studies and this site that we found called Cherubs. They gave us vital information and was the only venue we could find that gave us a glimmer of hope. Since Brandons birth they have reached out to us and many families who have be devestated by this horrible birth defect.

I cannot say enough good things about all the great work that Dawn and all the volunteers do for these babies and families. They have devoted their life to ANYONE world wide who has a child, or family member born with this. Not only do they offer hope and emotional support to those families, but they reach out to those who have lost a child to this condition. They fight to to give these babies a voice, and they are driven to find a cause so that no other baby might be born with this.

I cannot speak strongly enough about how my family feels about Dawn and CHERUBS. Thank you just doesn't say enough for all that they did and do for so many families including ours.

1 Renci S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My Lcdh baby girl, Lyric Reign, will be 2 years old in Nov. She spent 5 months in the Nicu, a year and a half on oxygen support even at home, and going from 10+ specialist down to maybe 1! She is truly a miracle and if it wasn't for CHERUBS I would've never been educated on CDH and receiving their support helped me fight this journey with my baby girl. ❤