was created in high hopes that one crazy mom, along with other crazy
parents and friends, can implore author Nicholas Sparks to write a book
about a family dealing with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH) to
raise awareness of this birth defect that affects 1600 babies each year
in the United States. CDH takes the lives of 800 of these children.
The cause is unknown and there is little awareness and virtually no
research funding. One book by Mr. Sparks that includes CDH can open
doors to save the lives of 1000's of these children.
I'm Dawn Williamson, mom to Shane. Shane was born with CDH in 1993 and lost his battle in 1999.
In 1995, I started a charity, CHERUBS,
that has helped over 5000 families in 60 countries. But after 20 years
and still no awareness and funding for these children, we need to up
our game to end this horrible condition. I'm responsible for this crazy idea of a blog
but will be dependent on the input of many other CDH families.
convince Mr. Sparks to meet with us and hear our request to write a
book about a family affected by CDH. Why would he be interested?
Because we are based in North Carolina, all of our stories are about a
great struggle and loss and lots of love and hope despite it all. And
because Mr. Sparks is a man who believes in helping children.
To be clear, we are only asking Mr. Sparks to meet with us. We are not here to harass anyone or tell Mr. Sparks what to write about in his own books (clearly, he doesn't need our help!).
blog is the only way we could think of for a little ole mom from North
Carolina to get a meeting with a famous author and share a dream on
behalf of the 1000's of families affected by CDH.
Isn't This A Bit Crazy?
Maybe this blog is one grieving mom's desperate attempt to remember
her son and make something good come from loss. Maybe it's the result
of 20 years of frustration in trying to stop the CDH monster and
screaming into the wind trying to get the world to listen. Maybe this
blog is a bit silly, too hopeful, too ambitious. But all the best dreams start
off a little bit silly, too hopeful and too ambitious.
What's the Plan?
write a letter to Mr. Sparks every single day of 2015. There will be
guest bloggers, posts about the charity, stories of some of these
In the end, whether Mr. Sparks meets with us, writes a book, there's a
major motion picture... or not... we will raise CDH Awareness and maybe,
just maybe, a few more people will learn about these children.
More awareness = more research = more CDH survivors.
What do we have to lose?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Charity Turns to Nicholas Sparks for Help
Wake Forest, NC – Thursday, October 15, 2015 – After 10 months of writing letters to Nicholas Sparks, CHERUBS - The Association of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Research, Awareness and Support, turns to the author seeking his help. They want him to feature congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) in one of his upcoming novels.
CDH occurs in approximately 1 in every 2,500 births (1,600 cases in the U.S. each year) and has a 50% mortality rate. The cause of CDH is not yet known. The diaphragm is formed in the first trimester of pregnancy and controls the lungs' ability to inhale and exhale. CDH occurs when the diaphragm fails to form or to close totally and an opening allows abdominal organs into the chest cavity.
“Our CDH stories have heartache and sorrow, joy and hope, life and passing,” Says president and founder Dawn Williamson. “We have the perfect opportunity to increase CDH awareness and a guaranteed following of Mr. Sparks to insure the novel’s success.”
Only one thing is missing. Mr. Nicholas Sparks, who is touring with his new romantic-thriller, “See Me,” needs to agree to include CDH in a book. So far, there is no indication whether or not Mr. Sparks will accept the challenge.
“We have all the source material he would need,” says the CHERUBS office manager Jason Miller. “There are literally thousands of both survivor and non-survivor stories from which Sparks can glean.”
Williamson extends an invitation to Sparks for the upcoming CHERUBS Masquerading Angels Ball at TPC Wakefield Plantation in North Raleigh. “A masquerade ball, singles mingling, pretty dresses- this has everything the top romance writer needs to fuel a story,” smiles Williamson, who happens to be single herself. "Mr. Sparks is a very handsome man. The dashing writer arriving at the masquerade ball to be the date of the charity leader who wrote to him daily seeking his help in memory of her son and to help other children would make a very romantic storyline, wouldn't it?" teased Williamson.
Williamson has had the opportunity to meet Sparks twice so far, including at an event in Chapel Hill this week. "I was able to talk to him about including CDH in one of his future books. He didn't say yes. But he didn't say no. I know he has a good heart for children because he has his own foundation. Many of his character do die in his novels so it's not far-fetched to ask him to make the cause of death CDH to help us help these children. More awareness equals more research funding for these babies. They need his voice"
"The 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" says Miller.
152 S White Street
Wake Forest, NC 27587
Ph: (919) 610-0129