Born in Toronto, Ontario in 1961, Cherie grew up in typical, middle class neighborhoods in Toronto, Mississauga, Burlington, and most recently Simcoe, Ontario. She attended Mohawk College (Accounting) and McMaster University in Hamilton (Women’s Studies & Religious Studies) and has worked in real estate since 1980 in accounting, management in ginseng farming since 1992. She is mom two adult step children Amanda and Stephen, and their younger “Tanzanadian” brother Kelvin and is “Mama” to the “watoto” (children) of Tumaini!

Cherie volunteered with the Burlington Jaycees (Junior Chamber of Commerce); with Girl Guides Canada as a troop leader & regional director; as a mentor with the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization; and has volunteered on several different committees within her church. She is a three time recipient of the Rotary’s “Paul Harris Fellow”.
Early in 2009 Cherie tended to her dying father (prostate cancer) nursing him through his death in April. Shortly after his funeral she vowed to realize a lifelong dream to “give back” some of the many blessings she has enjoyed over the years. Africa, and its’ terrible need has tugged at her heart for many years.

A local newspaper ran an article on Tanzania and helping children and the link was Oddo. They met initially over the internet, Cherie decided to make a trip to Tanzania to investigate and the rest as they say, is history.