Compassion During Crisis

This nonprofit provides daily support to families with critically ill children, from making meals to paying for gas

doctor-and-patient

KIDS IN NEED A THERE WITH CARE PATIENT AND HER DOCTOR. Photo by Beaton Photography

When your child has a life-threatening illness, everyday tasks like grocery shopping, gassing up the car and running a load of laundry are left undone, especially when the side effects from your 10-year-old’s brain tumor are so severe that she tells you the only thing she wants to do is go home—“home” meaning heaven. But thanks to There With Care, burdens are lessened. Volunteers appear with ingredients for a slow-cooker meal or deliver an activity bag filled with books, puzzles and board games to help pass the time during long medical appointments. “Our journey is lonely,” says Natalie, a single mom whose daughter has brain cancer. Life, she adds, becomes “a whirlwind—and you can’t think of anything else.” But with help from There With Care, “we inch forward, day by day.”

Background

  • Paula DuPré Pesmen, an associate movie producer, was in London wrapping up production on “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” when she got a call from a wish-granting organization hoping to fulfill a child’s desire to see the movie before she died. Pesmen and director Chris Columbus arranged for a rough cut to be shown in San Francisco. Over the next several years, 65 youngsters with life-threatening illnesses were welcomed onto “Harry Potter” sets. On one visit, a father told Pesman, “We’re living a parent’s worst nightmare. People don’t know what to say or do, so they do nothing.” His words changed her life. In December 2005, she created There With Care.

How it works

  • Clients, most 5 years old or younger, are referred by social workers at 15 hospitals and hospice agencies in the Denver area. (There is also a Bay Area office.) Staff and up to 600 volunteers serve 150 to 170 clients per day, providing food, supplies, transportation and sibling support. “We strive to work with families who have a longer-term illness or who have relapsed,” Pesmen says. “We may hand out a gas card so the family can get their child to treatment, but we’re also there when the car needs repairs.”

How you can help

  • Donations of cash, food, books and board games are welcome. Volunteers are needed to collect and sort donations, and help with deliveries and at fundraisers. Make cash donations on the website. Upcoming events include Care Cup Challenge golf tournaments May 21 at Cherry Creek Country Club and June 5 at Broomfield’s Omni Interlocken Golf Club. Red Carpet Adventure galas will take place later this year in Denver and Boulder. Call Dana Baccardi, 303.447.2273, for details.

THERE WITH CARE
2401 S. Colorado Blvd., 303.756.2273 or 2825 Wilderness Place, Boulder, 303.447.2273 

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