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CHERUBS - The Association of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Research

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Nonprofit Overview

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

Mission: Our only mission at CHERUBS 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. 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 4400 CDH families.

Results: CHERUBS 2012 Milestones and Accomplishments: * $20,000 in CDH Research Grants awarded * New Executive Board of Directors * New Parent Advisory Board * New Medical Advisory Board * New Vice-President, Ashley Barry * New Secretary, Lauren Campbell * New Treasurer, Kelly Green-Krist * Senate Bill S.3396 Introduced * Parade of Cherubs on April 19th in Washington DC to Capitol Hill * Members met with the offices of over 25 Senators * April 19th CDH Day of Awareness * Parades of Cherubs on April 19th in Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Denver, St. Louis, Peoria * UK Light up The Night on April 19th * First ever Virtual CDH Awareness Parade on April 19th * 2012 CDH Conference in San Francisco * New CHERUBS Web Site * New Facebook Forums Application created * $10,000 CDH Research Grant awarded to CHOP on December 30th (by votes) * Another $10,000 CDH Research Grant awarded to DHREAMS on December 30th * First ever Facebook Grant Contest held by a CDH charity * Over 300 care packages sent to families through our CDH HOPE Totebag project * CDH families represented at the American Pediatric Surgical Association conference * Our 2012 National Children's Memorial Day tribute honored the memories over 1000 cherubs * Texas Get-Together * Ohio Picnic * UK Get-Together in Scotland * Chicago CDH Carnival * Pennsylvania / NJ / Delaware Picnic * Denver Picnic * Indiana Get-Together * Washington Zoo Trip * Oregon members met with Senators * Oregon members represent CDH families at the opening of Randall Children's Hospital * Over 900 raffle tickets sold for the 50/50 CDH Research Raffle raising $9000 for Research * Over 10,000 Facebook Fans reached * Over 10,000 signatures reached on CDH Research Bill petition * Over 18,000 people reached in one post on Facebook * 2012 Silver Lining Newsletter Published * 2012 CDH Awareness Video * Day of 2012 CDH Awareness Video * Participated in televised Raleigh Christmas Parade * CHERUBS members in Claremont, NC Christmas Parade * CHERUBS members in Snoqualmie Days Parade * It's a Knock-Out UK Fundraiser * Masquerading Angels Ball * UK Formal Ball * CDH Awareness Calendar featuring over 1300 CDH patients * Save the Cherubs CDH Awareness Calendar * First CDH Awareness Calendar in the United Kingdom * Won Shane Co. charity contest * Won the JuJuBelle Facebook contest * Our CDH Awareness Ribbon included in St. Louis Cardinals Game to raise money for St. Louis hospital * Washington Mud Run Fundraiser * Enter Stage Left Fundraiser * UK Fishing Competition Fundraiser * Rockin' for Aidan Fundraiser * CHERUBS joins Google+, Chirpify, Pinterest, Instagram * CDH Fundraising Kits created * Cooking With Cherubs cookbook project begun * Participated in the San Francisco, Boston and Baltimore Marathons

Target demographics: families of babies born with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia

Geographic areas served: International

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Community Stories

10 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

14

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: 5

My son is a 22 yr old RCDH survivor, ECMO x 2 and we were like Dawn in the very beginning not having a place to go for information. I have supported Dawn's efforts since she began.
Please keep up the good work! She is amazing!!!

Danielle72

Donor

Rating: 5

I gave birth to an undiagnosed cdh child. I felt so alone because I knew no one who had a child with this condition. After I discovered Cherubs, I learned of many people and now have many cdh families for friends! It's nice having people who you can relate to.

1 Cici1gm

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter is a 28 year old survivor and I wish we had ha CHERUBS when she was born. We were alone in our journey. When she had to have surgery several years ago for a vowel obstruction related to her CDH diagnosis, we found CHERUBS. This is not just a charity. This is a family where there is so much information, compassion, love and prayers for all. My daughter and I now volunteer for CHERUBS. I am just so thankful they are there so no family will ever walk this journey alone again.

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

There was no CHERUBS when mydaughterwas born in 1986. We found CHERUBS a few years ago when I was researching adults with CDH. This is when I found CHERUBS. We have learned more since finding other families through CHERUBS than adult family practice doctors ever knew. Thank you all!!!! Love our CHERUBS!!!

Review from Guidestar

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Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I felt so alone and helpless when our son was diagnosed with CDH. We were both so pleasantly surprised and comforted when we found CHERUBS. Such an absolutely phenomenal charity to help other CDH families connect for support and resources that surely helped us for information and comfort. God Bless CHERUBS!

2 Maria F.

Client Served

Rating: 5

After losing our precious grandson, Liam Anthony Hunt after 33 days to right-sided CDH, our family found CHERUBS. What a wonderful, compassionate organization filled with fabulous people who are knowledgeable, know what your going through, and are always always there for you. There are not enough words to describe this organization or express my sincerest gratitude. When my grief even 2 years later gets too much, I know I can always blog on CHERUBS and I know that I will always get responses that comfort me.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

We found CHERUBS after our precious grandson received his Angel wings due to right-sided CDH. What a compassionate, wonderful group of people who never forget those milestone dates and never fail to check with you during those times. We have learned so very much and now work in earnest to provide donations and support to other CDH families. CHERUBS is VERY deserving of this award. Dawn Torrence Williamson is THE most amazing woman and I am honored to have met her.

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10

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Comments ( 1 )

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CHERUBS 08/12/2013

Thank you for your review and support of our charity. We hope that you have a great day!

CHERUBS
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9 Heidi20

Donor

Rating: 1

When a donation is given an acknowledgement is usually sent. Cherubs never sends a thank you. My mom's church sent a donation in my daughters name and never received a note of thanks. Same thing happened to me and several of my friends. Cherubs PAYS its CEO nearly $40.000 a year. Dawn should have plenty of time to send simple thank you notes. SHAME ON CHERUBS BOARD OF DIRECTORS FOR NOT MONITORING THEIR CEO!

First off thank you so much for threatening yet again with your lawyers. It seems you do threaten people with them when you are backed into corners. In FACT my mothers church DID donate to your organization and when I recently visited her house a couple of them were visiting. They ASKED me why they NEVER got an acknowledgement for the donation they made. I then informed them to NEVER donate to you again because it just goes to pay your salary Dawn. They were SHOCKED that you drew such a large salary and agreed CHERUBS would never again get a donation from them! I can in FACT get a COPY of the CHECK sent to Cherubs and post it online if you wish. So be careful who you call a liar.

Second I am NOT a volunteer at Breath of Hope. I have stated that I am a turquoise kool-aid advocate for Breath of Hope as you have referred to me. I just figured why not announce it to everyone on Facebook. Since you have me blocked on Facebook I wonder how you trolled to discover that out. Oh I know you used a vulnerable CDH parent to find out for you!

Third a person has to wonder why all the sudden Breath of Hope was getting false reviews on GreatNonProfits. Could the answer be that you have been pushing for reviews on your Cherubs facebook page???? Coincidence? I think NOT! You better hurry and delete them before people realize I'm right! Also why are all the negative reviews on BOH left anonymously? Probably because you wrote them and are a coward not to leave your name. As you may notice bad reviews left for Cherubs are from real people who leave real names.

Also check out this website: http://deceitfulnessofcherubs.blogspot.com/
Dawn is so deceitful! This site has proof of the drama Dawn continues to create and it also shows how she is deceitful with her finances.

Comments ( 1 )

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CHERUBS 08/01/2013

Dear Volunteer/Mouthpiece for Breath of Hope,

Thank you for your comments, but we respectfully disagree with the entirety of your review.

Your "facts" are far from true without any proof are merely slander to further your own motives and your own charity. It's neither constructive nor supportive of the CDH community to so aggressively, repeatedly, dishonestly and callously attack a charity and those who work there. It is not helpful to the CDH community to be competitive and malicious towards another charity. You have never and will never see CHERUBS or anyone at our charity behave in such a way publicly or privately yet you seem to do so on a weekly and sometimes daily basis. This obsession with us has to stop. It only hurts the entire CDH community and it is not professional.

We do not post reviews on other charity pages, nor do we bash other charities on ours. If you have negative reviews, that has nothing to do with us. We are professional and focused on our own charity work instead of any negativity. There was no need to bring our charity into your issues with others. People are allowed their opinions and reviews and in the future, we hope that if you receive a negative review that you can be more professional and compassionate towards the families who write the reviews. Such behavior as attacking grieving families, slandering charities to try to prevent donations and personally attacking others only makes the entire CDH community look bad. We are here to help children, not act like children.

To set the record straight, Dawn does not make that amount of money or even close to that amount. After 15 years of volunteering she gets a small paycheck to work 60+ hours a week for the charity. She deserves much more as her salary is not commiserate with an executive at a non-profit with her experience. Many at your charity have had paid positions at non-profits so it's very confusing as to why you so object to Dawn having a salary when she works very hard and does the work of 3 full time people and currently without any office help. Every large, successful charity has paid employees that run operations. Please rest assured that if your charity reaches the same status as ours that no one from CHERUBS will harass, question or publicly try to ridicule anyone there who earns a living. We should hope that others would be happy that our CDH charity is so successful instead of resentful because at the end of the day, the families are getting more help and that should be what is most important.

We would also like to make clear that our 3 Boards are very active. As you can see from their reviews here, work with families, our newsletter postings, newspaper and tv interviews, etc. It takes a team to run CHERUBS and we do that well. We also have an attorney and an accountant on Board and your accusations are not only untrue, but impossible. CHERUBS is a Gold Level charity, audited annually, is very successful and highly respected. If any one of your accusations were true, our charity would not be running. We hope that any intelligent person would realize this and see how transparent your motives are in posting such untruths. We hope that any CDH parent who has read your blogs and other libelous postings can see that your motives are to harm our charity and Dawn.

We are sorry for whatever issues you have or whatever goals you can't seem to accomplish without trying to tear us down... but we ask, yet again... please leave our charity alone and let us continue to do our good and successful work at helping CDH families. We suggest that you find other more positive things to occupy your time with and to try to help CDH families as well.

Again, there is no record of a donation from anyone in honor of your daughter. If there had been, of course you would have received an acknowledgement. Perhaps they made donations elsewhere? It makes no sense that they would donate to a charity that you so adamantly do not support.

We do appreciate you taking the time to go out of your way to post on our charity's Great NonProfits page and all the time and energy you spend towards our charity.

Our Board members have been notified of your latest public accusations and our lawyer, Lauren Campbell, or our CHERUBS Parent Advisory Board would be happy to speak with you regarding your questions, concerns and other issues. You can reach them at cpab@cherubs-cdh.org

As always, we extend the olive branch yet again and hope for a professional, positive, productive CDH Community.

Sincerely, CHERUBS var sc_project=9167094; var sc_invisible=1; var sc_security="4a5f7dad"; var scJsHost = (("https:" == document.location.protocol) ? "https://secure." : "http://www."); document.write("");

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4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 2

My daughter was born with CDH in 2006. Immediately I wanted to get as much information as possible so I went to the internet. CHERUBS is the organization that first came up. I was able to get information from the website about CDH that was great. However I never was acknowledged by Dawn the founder or anyone else. Desperate for more information I sent the "requested" $20 membership fee. I never did receive acknowledgement from CHERUBS. I later learned the founder was going through some "life" struggles and abandoned her website. Perhaps she could have asked someone to fill in for her on her website but she did not(she does however continue to draw funds from Cherubs for expenses during this time). I was disappointed and let down by the organization during the hardest time in my life but I'm aware that life does go on. I found my support elsewhere.

Comments ( 1 )

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CHERUBS 05/03/2012

CHERUBS has never charged a membership fee in 17 years or any other fees. As any other charity, we do ask for voluntary donations but it is never required or requested in exchange for service. We are sorry you misunderstood and wish you would have attempted to clear up any misunderstanding at the time rather than post here 6 years later. We are sorry you felt unsupported. The forums are there for 24/7 support, on-call volunteers, State Representatives and our Board are always available for support and information. As with any organization, there is always more than 1 person to help and we post that on our site and forums. If we can do anything else for you, please let us know.

Vanessa L.

Donor

Rating: 5

My son was born with CDH and we didnt know it until 3 weeks later when we ended up in the ER. I found CHERUBS months later, and it has been an invaluable resource for me as I watch my son grow stronger every day. Thank you CHERUBS for being so great!!! I now donate about $10 a month and try to send in items for the CDH totebags when I can.

Donor

Rating: 5

So far my experience with Cherubs has been wonderful, Dawn, the founder, has such love for all these children and wants to do all she can to help every family. Now with the indroduction of the bill in the senate she has rallied all the CDH community to stand behind it and get more reseach dollars for the babies. I have never seen it be about her but always about the babies and I know that even though they are a small charity they will continue to do GREAT things!!

5

Donor

Rating: 5

I watch as Dawn puts in 50 or 60 hours a week at CHERUBS to help CDH families. She takes phone calls at midnight and answers email constantly even when I ask her not to because she cant stand to not help someone for 5 minutes. The office was in our home until last year so I know exactly how much time and love goes into her work. If you were there in DC during the march to see all the people and be on Capital Hill you would understand. I met families and I saw the difference this charity makes. If you ever stepped into the office you would understand. If someone has a complaint because she missed one email out of thousands or they were asked to donate then they need to get a grip. My wife has done more to help CDH families than anyone else in the world has and she deserves admiration and respect. Stop complaining and donate.