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.
Dawn is amazing. After losing my son I did not really even want to be here. This group along with supporters and still living for my son are the only reasons I am here. They are my angel and a blessing for all of our CDH babies and their families. Dawn works with a vengeance to raise awareness and pass new bills for our babies. Dawn knows no boundaries when it comes to compassion and love.
On St. Patricks day of 2003 a precious little gift was born at 1 am on a Monday morning. No one knew that Jeremy had Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. When Jeremy was in the first few seconds of of life he suffered a heart attack, stroke, and his lungs collapsed. They flew him straight to ACH. Once there on ECMO(Life Support) Jeremy had a chance Most CDH is on the left so they do not make it, it smothers the heart. Jeremy’s was central so his liver blocked a lot of it. All of his organs were inverted (Backwards).By the second day he had four major operations. Jeremy had chest tubes, tubes in his little nose, mouth, wrist, feet, naval, and groin for one month. Once in NICU and Jeremy had to have his last five surgeries. Then we were on our way home. I believe I died 10 times while we were in there, But God gave me such a precious . We went home on four machines, three blood pressure meds, seizure meds, potassium. Jeremy thrived……………………… He loved to hear his siblings play. Jeremy loved going to Sea world with NawNaw and PawPaw and dancing with the count. Jeremy loved going to Dallas Aquarium with Mom and Mr. Ray and meeting spongebob. Jeremy loved every moment with his therapist Ms. Donna, Mrs. Virginia, Mrs. Gretchen. He loved all of his ladies, especially Mrs. Linda Walker, Jeremy was her “Bubbagump”. Jeremy adored his little brother CJ, there was never a more loyal love. He loved his sister playing the guitar everyday! There was never just a Dr. appt with Jeremy, it was an adventure! He never knew a stranger, he genuinely loved anyone he cam e in contact with. And for a brief moment in time he would change their life forever. There was no purer soul. He touched their mind with his inspirational soul and made every trip a wondrous joy. He loved his friends and teachers at school and adored his brothers and sisters. Kingsland elementary help make a structured loving environment for my son. They loved him for the Angel he was and is. Jeremy was everybodys buddy. His cousin Vicki was his very best friend. The love between the two was beyond our time. And his best buddy Shawn, who will always be a part of his heart and family forever. Form his PT/OT/ST to the Superintendant Mr. Johnson. However, Jenkins was our 2nd home. From the age of three months on they were my savior. The things pushing they challenged him with really got Jeremy to where he could go to kingsland, they and God got him to me and his family. Is so thankful for the love this town showed to my precious gift. We had done so much for this preceious little man and had so many more plans. Before every procedure Jeremy always gave a thumbs up to lot me know he would be fiend. This last ambulance ride he gave me thumbs up. There are no known causes for CDH. CDC is still researching. That is why Cherubs is so critical. They can do so much so other families so they don’t go through what my family and I went through. The Lord took his highest Angel on high that night. And left his shell of a Mom, empty. I am empty unless I am still doing for my son,Jeremy Tristan-Lee Tribble. 03/07/03/-03/13/16. His plaque will go up at Jenkins in Pine Bluff and he will have a plaque up at kingsland elementary. In his eternal loving memory. This little man is a legend. Faced his own war’s with a smile. Always a thumbs up, thumbs up. Faced over 15 surgeries in his little lifetime, a true legend.
I am the Mother of a CDH survivor who will be 34 this year. I have been fortunate enough to know CHERUBS through Face Book. I have met some amazing people, shared stories, tears, support and prayers with those who have been touched by CDH. I wish CHERUBS would have been in existence when my son was born. We were given very little information about CDH back in 1983, and as a new Mom, I felt very alone. Dawn Williamson has been a God send to each and every member of this group. She, with the help of her volunteers works tirelessly to aid families touched by CDH, provide a safe place to share worries, give families the information needed as they travel this journey and allow people to access information and awareness where CDH is concerned. I feel blessed and honored to be a part of this wonderful CDH family.
I have to say, that although my son is a survivor of CDH (almost 28 years now) I have been blessed to have been able to connect with Dawn Williamson and so many wonderful, caring,m giving people through CHERUBS. Back then, we were given very little details about CDH..we were only told it was life threatening and that my son would spend quite a while in the NICU. After all of these years, I have found out so much information about CDH, I feel more empowered to move forward and teach others about it, make them aware of it and do my best to try to get funds to bring research for CDH, so that, maybe, in my lifetime..it will no longer be a potential death sentence for babies. I am so grateful for this organization and for the people running it, the people who have joined it and for giving me a place to connect and learn. I hope someday to "pay it forward"..to help others the way they have helped me.
Review from Guidestar
CHERUBS has been a blessing to our 19 month old LCDH and ECMO survivor!
My daughter was born with LCDH. This organization helped us in many ways before she was born, and when she passed. Thank you all for what you do. Your hard word doesn't go unseen!
I've not had a personal experience but I have a friend who's had to go through this. It's mentally exhausting and so scary for them. I believe this needs to be better known.
CHERUBS has helped our family find out more about CDH when there was hardly any information online about it. Our son was born 10 years ago with CDH. We continue to support CHERUBS and network with other CDH families through them.
CHERUBS has been a wonderful support for my family after my daughter received her CDH diagnosis. They provide opportunities to connect with other families, provide information and resources and prayers.
This is our sweet baby Christian. He survived 40 days in the NICU at Children's Hospital in Dallas. He is our Angel and there is not a day that goes by that I do not miss him. ❤
A few years ago 3 little boys were beyond excited to welcome a little sister! "Our FIRST sister!" they happily exclaimed to anyone who'd listen. The day finally arrived and they anxiously awaited pictures of their "finally a girl". She was born a robust 8.6 lbs and 21" long, yet, layed on my belly
The silence was suffocating.
I was frozen with terror and could only repeat, "She isn't crying. She isn't crying." Thankfully nurses were able to get her responding. We knew something was off, but the nurse blew off all of our expressed concerns. We went home KNOWING something was wrong. A mere 13 days later we landed in the ER with our first baby girl in desperate trouble. Her oxygen had been at 80% for the first 13 days of her life, we'd found her not breathing several times each night, and she turned purple every time she cried. We heard the words Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia for the first time in our lives. Words like she's stable at the moment, and emergency surgery were being flung at us faster than we could process.
It was harrowing!!
We were stunned to numbness, yet, wildly terrified all at once. We had no idea the long term implications to such a diagnosis. We were later discharged with NO warnings or long term information regarding a Diaphragmatic Hernia survivor. We muddled along for nearly 2 years with NO idea what was typical versus cause for concern.
We were alone.
It was a terrible way to try and provide what your baby needs. Then, one day, I stumbled across CHERUBS and found an entire community navigating the same path we were on. We were no longer alone. We had hope. We found wisdom. We found support from those who really get it. We found a second home! We're forever grateful for this amazing group of dedicated people.
Review from Guidestar