Real Salt Lake and American Express are proud to recognize Charlee Nelson as the recipient of the “Hero Among Us” honor on May 17th 2014. In May 2011, when Charlee was 3½ years old she had her first seizure. Six months after her epilepsy diagnosis she began to lose her cognitive skills, balance and coordination. After enduring hundreds of tests over a 21 month period she was diagnosed with late Infantile Batten disease; a fatal, inherited disorder of the nervous system. She lost her ability to walk, talk, see and eat but Charlee continued to smile. Instead of giving up she and her family fought to find a way to help improve the quality of life for other children with seizures. On March 10th, the Utah legislature passed and named a bill in her honor. Charlee’s law allows for the compassionate use of nonintoxicating cannabis oil by Utahns with untreatable epilepsy. Four days after the law was passed Charlee lost her battle with Infantile Batten disease and passed away. While Charlee’s law was passed too late to help improve her life the law she championed has left a lasting impact on children who struggle with seizures everyday.
Jaron Almond, Marcie Lucero, Catrina Nelson, Cashlee Nelson, Jericho Nelson, Jeff Nelson, AmEx Rep Mike Burningham, and Real Salt Lake Representative Robert Castellano.
Real Salt Lake and American Express are proud to recognize the organization “Kids for Pets” as the recipient of the “Hero Among Us” honor on May 24th 2014. Kids for Pets was founded when Chloe, Ben and Hallee’s family adopted a rescue dog named Bowzer who had been severely abused and left for dead. Through the effort of many wonderful volunteers and a kind veterinarian Bowzer was brought back to good health. As the trio cared for Bowzer they decided to find a way to help other animals who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned. While many questions lingered as to what could be done the biggest question of all was: what could these kids do to help? They called several shelters and asked about volunteering but were told they were too young. Their next idea was to ask their parents to buy a farm and adopt all the homeless animals. Sadly, the parents gave them several reasons why that wasn’t possible! Rather than be discouraged the trio continued to search for a way that they could make a difference. After a lot of thought and effort they came up with the idea of making pet toys and selling them to raise money for homeless pets. Over the next 2 years they donated hundreds of handmade toys and over $2000 to local rescues and shelters. Chloe, ben and hallee are making a big difference in the lives of homeless pets and the organizations who rescue them.
Rita Offret, Ben, Chloe, Hallee, and Real Salt Lake Representative Robert Castellano.