theresacarullo“My husband and I have resided in the Valley for almost 20 years serving as educators. From the fall of 2016 to the December of 2017, a snowball of medical events affected our lives. Fortunately, VVCF grant allowed our family to financially recover from the debt we accrued from one year of medical bills from multiple hospitals, travelling to Denver to see specialists, and covering insurance deductibles. This grant allowed us to move forward into health and well-being rather than milling about in further debt and “dis-ease”. Our family was truly fortunate to have received the help and assistance of the Vail Valley Charitable Fund. We are truly appreciative and grateful to those that gave to us and continue to provide financial relief to families, like ours, who are experiencing financial hardship due to unforeseen illness.”

Theresa Carullo, VVCF Grant and Fundraiser Beneficiary

“It has been 10 months since Emmy’s last treatment session at Children’s Hospital, and she has just received another set of clear scans! Our little ladybug’s hair is growing like crazy, her energy levels are high and every day that passes since treatment is absolutely the best day. All of our spirits are through the roof getting to watch her be a regular little girl who just turned 3 years old! In other news, we are in the process of launching our very own non-profit that will be known as Emmy’s Friends. Living deep in the world of treatment the last few years and having been on the receiving end of so much help and support, we look at it as our duty to give back, as soon as possible. Emmy’s Friends is being designed to help young patients and their families who are facing life-threatening illnesses, receive better access to fresh and wholesome organic foods, nutritional guidance and bountiful resources for healthy living; all of the essential parts of both a thriving existence and battling sickness that are often grossly overlooked. Bridging the gap towards a healthier everyone through the best nutrition possible. We look forward to sharing more about our initiative soon. Thank you again for all of your support. We wouldn’t be here today if not the love and support of our amazing community.”

Much Love – The Welle Family

“We are so blessed to live in such a caring & compassionate community. The stress of a sick child is overwhelming and compounding that stress with the financial burden of excessive medical costs and unpaid time off at work is devastating. We are so grateful to the Vail Valley Charitable Fund for helping alleviate some of those immediate costs and letting our family focus on the health and well being of our children. When our newborn son was airlifted to ICU for a second time after his emergency heart surgery we knew we had great financial challenges ahead. We look forward to the opportunity to give back to this organization volunteering with our children. The VVCF is truly making a difference for our local families. When it seems like the odds are against you, it really restores your faith to have someone give you a helping hand.”

Brooke & Brett Gagnon, Grant & Fundraiser Beneficiary

amanda-painter“My journey with cancer started when I was 21 and battled and beat non-Hodgkin’s B cell lymphoma. After a treatment protocol of chemotherapy and radiation, my oncologist shook my hand and said that I would never have non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma again, but after 11 years of perfect health, I developed a persistent cough and pain in my shins and lower back. As the pain increased, so did my concern. After an ambulance ride to Denver, I was diagnosed with stage 4 angiosarcoma in my bone and lung. After 12 rounds of chemo, I celebrated scans that showed no evidence of disease and was put on a maintenance drug to stay ahead of the beast. Then in November of 2018, during a self-breast exam, I discovered a lump and was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer, BRACA2. Following a year of chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, and a hysterectomy, I’m feeling good and am positive that I’ll continue to enjoy good health. The understanding, support, and generosity I received from the VVCF brightened my darkest days. When visitors think of Vail, images of snowcapped mountains, hiking trails, and blue skies come to mind. When I think of Vail, I am reminded of how fortunate I am to be part of a community that has a “fourteener” heart, provides compassion and caring as support during rocky times, and guarantees 365 days of sunshine in acts of kindness and generosity. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, to the VVCF.”  – Amanda Painter, VVCF Grant Recipient

Megan-Heil“In the summer of 2016, my husband, Geoff, and I found out I was pregnant. Unfortunately, I quickly developed nearly fatal complications at nine weeks, and carrying to full term was uncertain. I went to the ER where a simple blood test diagnosed a blood clot, not uncommon during pregnancy, but full-body imaging to determine the location of the clot was risky. I developed a headache the following day, which turned into a horrible migraine, resulting in another ER visit. Doctors discovered three blood clots in my brain the size of my thumb, which obstructed more than 90% of the normal blood flow to the brain, after which I was put on blood thinners to help prevent future clotting while they stabilized me and the baby. This meant daily injections into my growing belly until after delivery. Believing that the risk was of clotting was a pregnancy-related issue, I was taken off blood thinners after delivering a healthy baby boy in March 2017. Four months after giving birth, I developed stroke-like symptoms and was quickly flown to Denver with another blood clot in my brain. Once again, with nearly a complete blockage in my brain, I did not suffer from any lasting neurological complications. My medical bills were mounting and my return to work was uncertain. Thanks to the generosity of our community and life-changing organizations like the VVCF, I was able to focus on my family and my health instead of my medical bills. My not-so “little” guy will be 4 later this month. I was able to return back to work for the community I love, and my family was not burdened with excessive medical debt. We are all faced with trials in life. We are not promised an easy journey, just a successful outcome.”

– Megan Heil, VVCF Grant Recipient

“I strongly support the Vail Valley Charitable Fund and am so glad it was made available to me with my premature daughter born at 32 weeks, weighing under 3 pounds, and in the hospital for two months after birth. We were so badly in debt after that. My father helped me pay off most of our hospital bills. Soon after, I developed something in my lower back. Thanks to the VVCF, I researched more affordable MRI’s, and they paid much of my orthopedic bill. I have worked ten years in early childhood, but my daughter’s medical needs, and now my medical needs are far beyond what I can afford. I have insurance for myself, but the deductible is very high and doesn’t cover much, and Medicaid for my special needs daughter. My daughter is now nine years old and is having another scoliosis surgery. She is a lot brighter than anyone can imagine! And beautiful too!”  – Karen Tripp and Victoria Chandler, Grant Recipients

Goodwin-family“Our family wants to express our immense gratitude to the Vail Valley Charitable Fund for a generous grant that helped us pay insurmountable medical bills after my husband had emergency surgery a little over a year ago. Today we are back on our feet again, but none of that would have been possible without the generous support of our treasured community. We are forever grateful for the support of the Vail Valley Charitable Fund and all our friends and family. They supported us and helped us get through this very difficult situation. Please know that the gifts you give to families like ours really mean the world and make all the difference in our lives. My husband, three sons, and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

– Cindy Goodwin, Carlos Armenta, Carlitos, Denzel, and Jair Armenta Goodwin, VVCF Grant Recipients