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Jeremy Stevens

Journey to a higher calling

Mother’s Grace founder Michelle Fanger (left) and board member and DC Ranch resident Dawn Pacheco.

BY JEREMY STEVENS | SENIOR COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER

hen Michelle Fanger saw the devastating images of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, she immediately headed to New Orleans to lend support. DC Ranch resident Dawn Pacheco joined her on what would be an eye-opening journey for both women — a precursor to a higher calling.

In the chaos and sadness of a community knocked from its livelihood, Fanger and Pacheco met a New Orleans mother working to mend the fresh wounds. “We worked with this woman who was using her corner church office as a place for residents to come have a cup of coffee and start the proceedings/ paperwork for rebuild,” said Fanger. “She ended up taking that very basic initiative of a neighbor-to-neighbor response and expanded the system to a national level that has assisted thousands of neighborhoods.” Seeing how one person could make a difference in her community, Fanger created Mother’s Grace — a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that helps mothers and families suffering from adversity. That same year, Mother’s Grace held its first fundraiser to help mothers affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Mother’s Grace aids struggling mothers, families

“Over the years we have supported families facing various kinds of hardships,” Pacheco said. “We have helped with everything from food drives to financially supporting mothers going through treatments for cancer.” Fanger’s own battle with cancer—and experiencing the financial toll it takes — gave her a deeper understanding of the hurdles any family can face.

“In 2008 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and the prognoses was questionable,” Fanger said. “And then, the day before I was to start my first chemotherapy treatment, one of my sons was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes.” After a year of chemo and taking care of her insulin-dependent son, Fanger was extremely run down even with all her community support. “Even though I was struggling with my health, I had a sick son to take care of. There is no such thing as a break or day off when you’re a mother with a sick child,” Fanger said. “It was then that I truly realized how much mothers are the backbone of a family. And sometimes they need real help to keep it together.”

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Ranch News | February 2015

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DC Ranch News February 2015  

DC Ranch News - A publication of the DC Ranch Community Council

DC Ranch News February 2015  

DC Ranch News - A publication of the DC Ranch Community Council

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