Volunteer Organization Specializes In Helping Families With Ill Children

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – There With Care is a local volunteer organization that was started nearly a decade ago to help the families of critically ill children.

In a small Aurora home the family inside is facing some big challenges. Shanequa Lewis sits next to her 3-year-old daughter who has a cancerous brain tumor. She was diagnosed at Denver Health Medical Center and now must go for weekly chemotherapy treatments.

Her mother is devastated.

“I love her to death. If I could take her pain away I will,” Shanequa said.

But she can’t, so she’s doing all she can to take good care of her. Shanequa quit her job with Denver Public Schools to stay at home full time. And thanks to the There With Care volunteers, she is not alone.

“They give me a lot of comfort, they have counselors if I need it, they have my back 100 percent,” she said.

Gary Lewis is one of the volunteers who visits the family.

“I do it because everyone involved is such wonderful people,” he said.

There With Care

Gary grocery shops for the family and brings homemade treats that other volunteers make.

“It’s fun to see the kids,” he said.

On this day the founder of There With Care, Paula Dupre Pesmen, arrived with a holiday wreath for the door … and some cuddly bears for anyone inside who might need a hug.

Shanequa Lewis shares a hug with There With Care founder Paula Dupre Pesmen (credit: CBS)

Shanequa Lewis shares a hug with There With Care founder Paula Dupre Pesmen (credit: CBS)

When Paula’s husband had cancer more than a decade ago, she realized how hard a diagnosis could be on the entire family.

“Our goal is to take some of the heavy things off their plate so they can focus on their children,” Paula said. “We get cars fixed, we provide transportation, get their homes cleaned, do babysitting.”

She launched There With Care 9 years ago.

“We have 600 volunteers in Colorado and we’ve helped 375 families this year.”

If you visit the family, Ja’veonnah is quick to assume you’re a volunteer and finds a task for you. CBS4’s Suzanne McCarroll painted her nails a “princess pink” color, as she calls it. There With Care is working to help her be a healthy and happy princess.

The organization wants to help the families of critically ill kids and works with 15 metro area hospitals to identify families that need support. Visit therewithcare.org to learn more.

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