A local woman is hoping President Donald Trump's promise to donate his salary to charity will help her cause. She's using the loss of her son to help save others diagnosed with a birth defect that takes the life of 800 babies every year.
Dawn Ireland started the organization "Cherubs" after her son was diagnosed with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia. The condition isn't widely publicized, but she's hoping a donation from President Trump will change that.
Every year, 1,600 babies are born with CDH. The diaphragm fails to fully form, their organs are not stable, and their lungs cannot grow. Only half of the babies diagnosed with CDH survive.
READ MORE ABOUT CHERUBS HERE
"My son Shane was born in 1993," Dawn explained. "He coded immediately at birth, as soon as they cut the cord."
Dawn said she didn't know anything about CDH when Shane was born. She couldn't find any information about it and had no support.
"The only thing that I had when he was born was a very crudely drawn diagram of a diaphragm on a hospital paper towel," Dawn shared.
Shane lived six-and-a-half years until complications from CDH took his life. Dawn started Cherubs to offer services to families like hers.
READ MORE ABOUT CDH SUPPORT HERE
She and volunteers make care packages and offer financial assistance for families in the hospital. They fund research and Dawn lobbies Congress for more funding.
"Families do donations, bake sales, and car washes and baseball tournaments, and we scrape together," Dawn said.
Recently, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer invited the Press Corps to help pick charities to receive Mr. Trump's salary donation.
"Cherubs" was voted number four on a top ten list "The Chronicle of Philanthropy" gave to the White House. Dawn said Trump's donation could be a game-changer.
"That would triple our budget," Dawn explained. "We don't know what causes it so it's very difficult to fight something if you don't know why it's caused."
A White House officials said there isn't a formal system for accepting recommendations. Whether President Trump will use the list of suggestions as any kind of guide is unclear.
There are millions of nonprofits in the U.S. Dawn, and the 6,100 families in her organization, hopes he will give theirs some attention.
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Local woman hopes Trump's promise to donate salary will help her cause