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Brandon nonprofit sends angels into the community to help families in need

Heather Brightwell.png
Posted at 5:10 AM, Oct 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-15 15:34:32-04

BRANDON, Fla. — When it comes to a life-threatening illness or catastrophic events, families are forced to set aside those daily, mundane tasks, and focus on what’s important. However, the little things like cutting the grass or painting the house don’t just disappear. That’s where the Angel Foundation swoops in.

Heather and Chris Brightwell never thought they would have to ask for help until they were both diagnosed with cancer within a two-year span.

“Are you kidding me, like seriously are you kidding me, why,” said Heather.

Heather found out she had breast cancer in May, while Chris is still undergoing treatments for thyroid cancer.

“It completely caught me off guard, hit me like a ton of bricks essentially, again, here we are again,” said Chris.

Trying to raise two daughters, maintain their careers and beat a pair of life-threatening diseases, something had to give.

“I can’t clean, I just can’t do it, I don’t have it in me,” said Heather. “Usually the weekends are my worst when I’m feeling the worst after treatment based on when I get chemo.”

What the Brightwells soon discovered is that not all angels carry harps, some come equipped with vacuum cleaners.

“I’ve always been a giver and I’ve always wanted to help people in every situation any way that I possibly can,” said Vanessa Davis, owner of Up and Down Cleaning.

It’s one of the hundreds of businesses that partner with The Angel Foundation.

“Just take that burden off my shoulders, as little as it sounds, it's a huge deal,” said Heather.

“So what we do is come alongside the families and say, ‘what is it that you need that is going to be able to help you on your healing, your encouragement and get up every single day,’” said CEO Liz Brewer.

Brewer was inspired to lead the Brandon nonprofit organization after her own father was diagnosed with cancer. She remembers how much the community did for her family and she wanted to pass that along to others.

“We have a lot of angels in the community all among us and a lot of people want to help and we are going to give them opportunities to serve and bless others,” said Brewer.

As the treatments continue for both Chris and Heather they know there’s a group of angels out there ready to take flight whenever needed.

“They’re a huge blessing and we can never say thank you enough,” said Heather.

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