The 5280 Mermaid (formerly known as Kleinhans Kicking Cancer) is our small business where my children (Madelene 20 yrs. and Addison 17 yrs.) and I create original recipe soups, dips, and craft cocktails and soy candles. Our combined effort raises money for Addison's medical bills (due to leukemia diagnosis at age 5 in 2010) and donations to other cancer families and various fundraisers.
I devote one day weekly to collection and delivery of groceries to cancer families to pay it forward as others had helped me during Addison's 38 month arduous treatment. Currently, I am also caring for my 93 year old mom who recently had two strokes. Due to Addison's latent effects from chemo, I homeschooled both kids through to college - hence our home-based business. My modeling and performing career took a hiatus.
Fresh out of University of Colorado in 1994, I traveled the world with the nonprofit UP WITH PEOPLE and was on staff for many years after. Through that experience I've learned to appreciate everything in life and remain positive. Watching her mother's passion for life and helping others, Madelene started a nonprofit at age 12, Heartfelt Hugs, for siblings of critically ill children. She knew first-hand how pushed aside she felt during her brother's treatment. Sarah is the Logistics Director and Madelene is the CEO. At their annual event, "Heartfelt Hugs by Madelene Cares" Fun Days Out, up to 100 participants from all over the state of Colorado attend. You can learn more about Heartfelt Hugs here. Addison created the dip line and volunteers for events so this venture is truly a family affair.