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Gratitude and Grace Foundation out to help those in need

Jamie and Kelly Thrush want to help people live a nice, full life. They know – specifically Kelly – how sometimes that’s not possible, given the trials and tribulations of life.

So, they’ve decided to give back because they’ve received the gift of a new life; more specifically Kelly has.

They’ve created Gratitude and Grace Foundation to help others who are need of “financial assistance and resources as they as they navigate the challenging journey of recovering from organ failure or substance abuse.”

They know of what they speak and that’s how the organization started.

About six years ago, Kelly got ill and “needed to have a full liver transplant due to his own doing because he was drinking too much. It caused his liver to fail,” said Jamie, his wife who helps run Gratitude and Grace.

“We understand the struggles that individuals and families go through during those hard times,” she said. “So, this is our way of creating a nonprofit so that we’re able to get back because I was by myself (trying to make it all work).”

She didn’t know what the future held, given the loss of an income.

“It was a troubling time,” she said. “We want to help those who are going through something similar.”

The Foundation started last year and is looking forward to helping others.

They have joined El Tour de Tucson to be one of the nonprofits participating in the event. El Tour is expecting to have more than 70 this year.

Kelly Thrush

Kelly has ridden in El Tour a few times, given he’s an outdoor enthusiast.

“He wanted to start a team because a lot of people want to help support the foundation and to give back,” she said. “We don’t know what expect as a team (riding in the event) so we hope to get to $2,500, hopefully more.”

They are taking donations and have received grants so far. One group helping is Team Erin of Turtlegrin Adventures.

Sally Flatland and David Griffin became supporters of Gratitude and Grace after meeting Jamie and Kelly, hoping to bring awareness to the foundation.

About two weeks ago, the two set out on 1,100-mile ride from the border of New Mexico to Silverthorne, Colorado. The ride is in memory of their daughter Erin, who passed away last year from an asthma attack. She was a new mom and loved being outdoors.

“No doubt she would want to be riding with us,” Sally said. “We have established a fundraiser in memory of her. The Gratitude and Grace Foundation is near and dear to us because Erin was an organ donor and she saved 3 young girls’ lives by donating her kidneys and liver. A true superhero!”

They are looking for cyclists for El Tour. Each rider must meet a $250 fundraising goal.

To help Gratitude and Grace, visit their El Tour charity page at Gratitude and Grace Foundation