In January 2009 Rachel's 3-year old daughter, Charlotte Jennie, was diagnosed with a primitive neuroectodermal brain tumor. After a year of fighting bravely, CJ died on January 7, 2010. Because of her experience and desire to help other families in similar circumstances, she co-founded CJ's Thumbs Up Foundation which has grown to help hundreds of families and fed thousands of family members and caregivers in the Central Virginia area.
Rachel's personal mission is to help families cope with the realization that their worst fear has become realty.
In 2016 alone, nearly 11,000 people were served through CJSTUF's Meal Fairies Program. Rachel has also made herself available to parents who need to talk, vent, or are looking for advice. Her book, Four Seasons For Charlotte, has helped many parents/caregivers through their own experiences.
Rachel has every right to curl up into a fetal position and stay that way as long as she likes but she chooses rise with her grief and be more than she was before.
CJ's Meal Fairies Program provides lunch for the families of children receiving inpatient treatment at Children's Hospital of Richmond and at UVA Children's Hospital in Charlottesville. CJSTUF also provides meals to Ronald McDonald Houses in both cities and other residential facilities. $50,000 would pay for a full year of meals for the families.
She is a wife, mother of an adopted daughter, and has lent her talents to multiple other Richmond, VA-area non-profits, helping them down the road of success.