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Sandy Journal

Children and the Earth creates memories for children dealing with serious illness or injury

Sep 08, 2022 01:43PM ● By Peri Kinder

By Peri Kinder | [email protected]

Gracey Fuller has been battling angiosarcoma for more than two years. Diagnosed right before her 16th birthday, Fuller has undergone multiple tests, treatments and surgeries to fight the cancer that forms in the lining of blood and lymph vessels.

Now 18, Fuller just graduated from high school and is spending her remaining time making memories with her family. Her mom, Jamie Brunson, came in contact with Children and the Earth, a nonprofit based in Sandy that helps children, and their families, dealing with terminal disease.

“At this point we’re just trying to make her comfortable and give her quality of life. We want to make sure she can do things she wants to do,” Brunson said. “I have my days. I cry a lot more than I probably should but we’re very grateful for Children and the Earth. I don’t think they even realize how much they help, how they take things off our plate we don’t have to worry about.”

Children and the Earth arranged for Fuller to visit Universal Studios in California and put her family up in an Airbnb while she was getting scans done at Primary Children’s Hospital. Living in Fillmore, the accommodations made it easier for the family to stay together and play together.

From mani-pedis to Top Golf to bucket list trips to a visit from the Ute cheerleaders, the nonprofit organization creates opportunities for children and their families to make memories, while easing the burden of medical expenses.

Amber Brosig is the daughter of Lana Hill, who founded Children and the Earth in 1999. Brosig took over the nonprofit in 2005 and serves as managing trustee.

“We were always a charitable family,” Brosig said. “On Christmas, we’d hand out coats to homeless people or go serve food for Thanksgiving. When my mom retired, and she retired well, she took $500,000 to start this foundation so we could help the community.”

One of the organization's biggest fundraisers is Ride the Brainwave, a 5K, motorcycle rally and UTV ride all combined into one big event. It started 15 years ago as a way to help a friend whose daughter was injured in a terrible accident. It’s grown from 30 people that first year to more than 5,000 participants in 2022, when it raised more than $100,000.

Families are usually referred to Children and the Earth through word of mouth, social media or through parents at Primary Children’s Hospital. Once a connection is made, volunteers at the nonprofit are 100% hands-on, dedicated to lightening the load for the family and assisting in any way they can to ease their burden.

“We have a good reputation for what we do,” Brosig said. “It’s amazing what we do. I’m not gonna lie. Our mission is to support sick children. We’re just trying to make the time they have left amazing.”

 Brosig is always looking for new ideas, venues, fundraisers or silent auction items to benefit the program. More than 90% of monies raised goes to the kids, with the remaining funds paying for office space and accounting. “No one takes a paycheck,” Brosig said. The community can donate to Children and the Earth on its website at

Children and the Earth also hosts trunk or treat events, Easter egg hunts and provides Christmas for hundreds of children and their families.

“For Christmas, we have Giving Trees throughout the valley and we helped 375 kids last year,” Brosig said. “We organize for two weeks to make sure every kid is taken care of, including their siblings. The families come in tears and they’re so grateful.”

Parents who have received assistance from Children and the Earth often come back as volunteers to pay it forward. Volunteers are dedicated to the families, even taking time off from their paying jobs to meet with children or take in dinner.

Working with children in such dire circumstances, Brosig has learned to have boundaries so she has the energy necessary to continue the nonprofit’s mission.

“I went to probably five funerals in the last year and it’s sad,” she said. “It’s really hard. But we do so much good, and I have such an amazing team of people.”

Brunson is so grateful for what Brosig has done for her daughter and family. She knows the time they have left with Fuller is precious and they want to make sure they enjoy all the moments they have.

“Everything they’ve done has been above and beyond,” Brunson said. “[Children and the Earth] is amazing. They truly give. They are there to serve others; genuinely serve others.”