Critical illness does not discriminate. It affects people of all ages, races, religions, ethnicities, and incomes. It also, is not a choice. Founder, Paula DuPré Pesmen, learned this first hand when her husband Curt was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer in 2000. Paula left her work as a film producer on the Harry Potter films to be with him through treatments and surgery.
While grateful for the support they received from friends and family, she also recalled the daily challenges they faced. Not wanting to leave her ill husband, simple tasks such as even going out to get groceries were difficult.
After nine months of treatments and surgery, they returned to London where Paula continued her work on the Harry Potter films. During her first day back, she received a call from a wish granting organization asking if she could help with a terminally ill child’s wish to see the film before it was released. Sadly, she child had limited time. With the help of the director Chris Columbus and Warner Bros, a screening was set up for the child.
Following that child’s special wish, more than 65 critically ill children were welcomed to experience their wish to visit the world of Harry Potter, walk the movie set and meet the actors. By spending time with these children and their families, Paula was exposed to the isolation they were experiencing during the illness of their child.
Through passion for these families and the journey they faced, she left her film career in 2005 to start There With Care with a community of people who dedicate their time serving children and their families when facing critical illness.
The lives of Sam, Jay, Ellie and Sonia were taken early by a devastating disease. But their spirits, energy and enthusiasm for life live on in There With Care. The entire organization is a tribute to their lives.