The CHERUBS Story

   CHERUBS was created in February, 1995 by Dawn M. Torrence Williamson.  Dawn is the mom of Shane Torrence (1/28/93-9/11/99), born with left-sided CDH and multiple birth defects.  Immediately she searched for a support group but there were none available that could help her.  After spending hundreds of hours in the hospital's medical library and finding support only from parents met at the hospital, Dawn felt a great need for a CDH support group.

   With the help of Shane's surgeon, Dr. Lesli Taylor, and the support of Shane's father, Shane's nurses, and friends made at the hospital, CHERUBS was started.  CHERUBS is founded in memory of, and named for, Preston Montague and Andrea Jones, two very special CDH babies that were Shane's hospital roommates, and for all CDH babies that do not survive.

   It is truly a grassroots organization, created when there was nothing.   There was no internet, no other support groups to turn to or model after.  We were just CDH parents trying to make the world a better place for families like ours.   We started out very small with just a typewriter, kitchen table, $100.00 in donations, and 2 members.  It took us 3 months to figure out how to get Non-Profit Status, but we did it!  In 1996 we attended our first conference- the American Pediatric Surgical Convention in San Diego.  Finally, the word was out and we started to grow.

   We have organized international CDH conferences, spoken at pediatric surgical conferences, created 1000's of awareness items, published 3 books, helped to found ACDHO, started multiple awareness and fundraising campaigns and run the world's largest long-term CDH Research Study.   Our list of milestones and accomplishments is long - thanks to the tireless and selfless efforts of our many volunteers.

   Dawn Williamson by 2012 we grew to include over 4100 members from 54 countries and all 50 states, organized 90 volunteers, have been featured in newspaper articles, quoted in magazines, conduct research, and became the CDH referral center for most hospitals and other support groups.  We still struggle and learn as CHERUBS grows, but the work is rewarding.

   CHERUBS is run solely by volunteers.  CHERUBS runs solely on donations but will soon look for grant funding to hire an in-house Secretary to help out with the vast amount of work it takes to run CHERUBS.  Currently, we have only 1 full-time volunteer who works on CHERUBS - Dawn M. Torrence Williamson, who has given over 25,000 hours of volunteer time to CHERUBS over the last 15 years in memory of Shane.  

   Our goal is to not only help parents of children born with CDH but to lead the medical community into finding the cause and prevention of this devastating birth defect. 

News from CHERUBS

Featured Volunteer: Josh Hensley

Josh Hensley is the father of two CDH babies, both of whom grew their wings.  It is hard to put into words how important this person is to the charity. Back in October 2010, this individual sent CHERUBS an email interested in being a volunteer with CHERUBS. Having lost two children to CDH, this member wrote in this email that he felt immense responsibility to “wage war” on CDH. His wife and he wanted to set up a CDH awareness tree at the festival of trees for Primary Children’s Hospital that year and wanted CHERUBS to be a part of it. From there, the rest is history. Josh Hensley is currently the Research Director at CDHi and has held many volunteer positions at CHERUBS since late 2010. He has traveled the world raising awareness and continues to wage war against CDH and we know he will not quit until that war is won. He has been a voice of reason throughout the years, for we don’t get much Dad point of views on our volunteer team. He is a one of kind man, has a big heart and is out there in the trenches fighting to put an end to CDH. Josh and his wife Melanie are the proud parents of 4 girls. Today, we thank Josh for all he does for CDH International and CHERUBS, his passion in wanting to wage war on CDH and his desire to help all families that are affected by CDH.

Read more...

Featured Cherub: Phoebe Kleensang

Featured cherub of the week is 5 year old Phoebe Kleensang.  Phoebe is the daughter of Megan and Aaron Kleensang.  Cherub Phoebe is a fighter and such an inspiration to many!

This is Phoebe’s story, written by her mom Megan:

Read more...

New Product in Online Store: CDHi’s “Merry Christmas Around the World” Ornament

Spread CDH Awareness with holiday cheer with one of our official CDHi Christmas ornaments! These ceramic ornaments attach securely to the tree to ensure that they’re both cat and child-proof.

.: One-sided printing
.: Golden string included for hanging
.: White ceramic

 

 
Join the Angel Club and make a monthly or annual donation in honor or in memory of your cherub.

Donation Amount Options
In honor or memory of who?

2017 - News from CHERUBS

Featured Volunteer: Josh Hensley

Josh Hensley is the father of two CDH babies, both of whom grew their wings.  It is hard to put into words how important this person is to the charity. Back in October 2010, this individual sent CHERUBS an email interested in being a volunteer with CHERUBS. Having lost two children to CDH, this member wrote in this email that he felt immense responsibility to “wage war” on CDH. His wife and he wanted to set up a CDH awareness tree at the festival of trees for Primary Children’s Hospital that year and wanted CHERUBS to be a part of it. From there, the rest is history. Josh Hensley is currently the Research Director at CDHi and has held many volunteer positions at CHERUBS since late 2010. He has traveled the world raising awareness and continues to wage war against CDH and we know he will not quit until that war is won. He has been a voice of reason throughout the years, for we don’t get much Dad point of views on our volunteer team. He is a one of kind man, has a big heart and is out there in the trenches fighting to put an end to CDH. Josh and his wife Melanie are the proud parents of 4 girls. Today, we thank Josh for all he does for CDH International and CHERUBS, his passion in wanting to wage war on CDH and his desire to help all families that are affected by CDH.

Read more...

Featured Cherub: Phoebe Kleensang

Featured cherub of the week is 5 year old Phoebe Kleensang.  Phoebe is the daughter of Megan and Aaron Kleensang.  Cherub Phoebe is a fighter and such an inspiration to many!

This is Phoebe’s story, written by her mom Megan:

Read more...

New Product in Online Store: CDHi’s “Merry Christmas Around the World” Ornament

Spread CDH Awareness with holiday cheer with one of our official CDHi Christmas ornaments! These ceramic ornaments attach securely to the tree to ensure that they’re both cat and child-proof.

.: One-sided printing
.: Golden string included for hanging
.: White ceramic