Dawn Damon: Good to see all of you bravehearted women once again. And as you know, every now and then, I'd like to bring a guest on the podcast episode that talks about their courageous journey, how they had to find their brave and take steps of action, even amid fear and trial and turmoil.
Today my guest for you is a woman who had to face her fears head-on and wait till you hear what she's done with that. My guest today is a wife and a mother, but she's a business entrepreneur and an inventor. She has invented something called C.A.B.A. You're gonna hear all about that in just a moment. She is a bravehearted woman. Please welcome to our program today, Cheri Tamburro.
Hey, Sherry. Hello. Good to see you. You are a bravehearted woman. I'm excited for people to be able to hear about your story. So why don't you just go ahead and tell us a little bit about yourself and your experience?
Cheri Tamburro: Okay, so my name is Cheri Tamburro. I grew up in West Michigan almost my whole life and everything I've done has brought me and led me to what I'm gonna share with you guys today. I had been back and forth from Michigan to Arkansas, and Michigan to Arkansas. In my first marriage and I got pregnant about 9 years into our journey and tried to conceive a child.
When my son Eli was born nine years later, he was born with a very rare disorder and all that meant was didn't know how to feed or raise him because his rare disorder comes with a lot of complications ‘cause he coded when he was a baby and he shouldn't have coded because they should have been able to find out his disorder within two to three days before we left the hospital. But his newborn screening got misplaced. So he had brain damage. He has had a lot of different setbacks, delays, seizures, and potty toileting issues since he was three years old. I had broken my back in my twenties. I'm in my forties now. I couldn't lift Eli since he was three years old. And what does that mean the complications of going anywhere out in public are very hard. Well, ‘cause for a while I was a single mama trying to change my son and he's a big boy and you get a lot of different flack and feedback. That isn't so positive when you're changing a boy, especially now cause he's almost 11. So I needed to come up with something because I was just not being served well in the community when I have to change my son everywhere we go. So we came up with an invention called C.A.B.A.
C.A.B.A. is changing any butts anywhere, and I have a really cute little 3D model that just came in the mail. It's kind of just ridiculously small, but it's a traveling changing cot and it comes with a little backpack. It's really cute. I do have a video up and stuff, but this cot comes in three different sizes in styles. So from 0 to 50 pounds, 50 to 130, and 130 to 300 pounds. It will be waterproof. The cot just folds up in itself and goes right back into the bag, and it comes with a privacy tent. That class to the cot so it doesn't blow away if you happen to be on the soccer field like we are in the seasons of sports. And so it can class to the little cop. You can just fold it back up in itself and it goes right inside this bag so you don't have to carry it. The straps, you can carry it kind of like a camping cot or you can put it on a wheelchair. We came up with this invention. Like I said because Eli has needs all over and everywhere we go there are few and far between where we can find places to change somebody has his size and now there are a lot of things out there that they're trying to get into different facilities for a special changing table, but yet they're still too high for me. Because I broke my back and I needed something where you can wheel somebody up in a wheelchair, even though my son isn't in a wheelchair, but some days he was too weak because of seizures to be able to even help me get him up on a table. So I needed something that would go right level to a wheelchair. So you can slide your person on, slide them off, change them, do what you need to do, and be able to move on and get on with your day.
Now, this also serves the community well for the little people community. I met a friend through my business venture and her son is a little person, and she's like, ‘Do you realize what you made, what you have done?’ This will serve our family well because they have babies and they can't lift them and change them anywhere. That's my smaller size top that will fit that community. And not only that, my daughter, she's three still in diapers, she's tiny. I can lift her no problem. But there are some of those changing stations you just don't wanna change her on. So I can be able to have this as now as a baby shower gift. So people will be able to change their little ones. One in privacy and two in a clean environment. It'll be a clean space cuz it's yours. I mean, you'll be able to pop it up anywhere you go. The reason I came up with this invention is not only for my son, but my heart is to reach millions of people in the special needs community because there's just so much struggle. Not only changing your person but doing it in private and being able to not be able to get outta the house is overwhelming. There are a lot of different things and events we just don't go to because of the changing need, and so I know other mamas and daddies are struggling with that as well. Some people don't even leave their houses. I've interviewed a few families and stuff, and when we go into the community and they're going to PT and OT.
Dawn Damon: So Cheri, you've unpacked so much and I wanna hear more of your story, but I wanna take it back just a little bit. First of all, just to comment, you have thought of everything with this C.A.B.A, and by the way, you're gonna have to make sure you tell everybody what that stands for. But we'll get back into that in a minute.
You have been so considerate to think about every angle and the needs of so many communities and the population of the disabled community where they're gonna be able to use this. It's incredible. But I wanna take you back for a moment because you kind of glazed over something and after your son Eli was born, you guys were faced with, well, kind of a shattered dream for a minute because you tried to have a child for 9 years. You finally have your baby. Your baby is born with a rare complication. Then he codes what happened to the marriage, you said, and then you were a single mom. Tell me a little bit about that dash you had to really become brave.
Cheri Tamburro: Yeah. So there was a, a little bit of gap. God was so good and so gracious to me because it wasn't a big gap of being single. Thank you, Lord, because I didn't want to live a life on my own. So, after 15 years of marriage, my husband left us and decided to move outta state, go out of the country to propose to a woman. And I didn't know this. So C.A.B.A. was actually coming along quite well in my brain, but then everything was shattered because he left and I'm like, ‘Okay, God, why are you putting this on hold?’ I know why he was putting on hold, why he was putting C.A.B.A. on hold. I didn't have the name C.A.B.A. or anything, or all the details of my invention yet, but it was just in my head. So after my first husband left us, it took me a good year and a half to just pray, get counseling through my pastor, and get all the things together to be able to come up with, ‘cause I knew the poll for my invention was just so strong, but I needed the detail. I need fine detail.
I end up meeting my second husband a little over a year after my divorce was final. He brought life back into my life and C.A.B.A. started to come. I started sharing it with him. He's like, ‘Well, what should we call this?’ So went on a date one night and he came up with the word C.A.B.A. He actually came up with a different name. I can't remember what it was, but we ended up tweaking it to C.A.B.A. cause it stands for changing any butts anywhere. He helped me fine-tune it and tweak different things that I needed in my invention to make it one of a kind.
If I hadn't gone through the divorce and all the struggles in between, all of those things. I wouldn't be where I am today. There are so many different things, setbacks and struggles, not being able to get pregnant for 9 years and then always wanting a little girl. I've always wanted two or three kids and I didn't think I was gonna have that. Then I got remarried in my late thirties, and now I have a little three-year-old. Her name is Alaya. She's our source of life and spice. I know why I have all of these things in place now because God put me in those positions for a reason.
Dawn Damon: Amen. That's so powerful and I'm proud of you. You are courageous. You have tenacity, you have taken difficult times and with your faith, and you have just pressed through, and I know that wasn't something that was easy or you did overnight, but I feel like you had this vision, this purpose, this compelling bigger vision, and just yourself that kept you going as well. You knew this was an invention that was gonna help others. So where are you today? And give us an update on Eli. How is he doing today, and then what needs to happen before this hits the market?
Cheri Tamburro: Okay, so where we're at with the invention right now, we went through invent help. They have made us an amazing product brochure. So we have that and we also have a virtual tour, which we have this, and it opens up and it plays. I won't show it to you all the way through cause it's on my CABA Cot (Caba) Facebook ‘cause this is the old one. I have a new one. They made us a little demonstration and they're working on a prototype. They just took our product to Las Vegas to share it with some big companies to overview and have them look at us and we'll hear back in a few weeks or a few months to see if any company was interested in that show. We also have 52 companies looking at us but haven't heard back yet. So I've been just trying to get on different shows and podcasts and the news and just trying to get our name out there to see if somebody will see us take on our invention sooner and maybe God will lead us to the right person that I feel confident and comfortable with to make our product. We also applied for the five-by-five and the 100, so I'm hoping to win those. So I can earn some money to have some financial backing into the game for this. ‘Cause companies really take you seriously when you have a better financial backing and some of them see that you're working hard to get this going. So we're really far in the process. We're just waiting for a manufacturer to make our product right now and wonderful.
Dawn Damon: Good news. And how is Eli?
Cheri Tamburro: Oh gosh. Eli is fantastic. When he was born, like I told you guys, he coded and so he wasn't one. He wasn't as expected to walk or talk. He started talking at age 4 on his own. He could go back and forth with you a little bit, but he would have to prompt him how to say a word. He couldn't just say it by himself. He was always stuck. He obviously walks, he talks. He is full of life and energy and love, and he can do all the things that a normal kid can do, except for potty training. He has seizures, he has fine motor skill issues. He can't shower himself. There's a lot he can't do.
As of eight weeks ago, I'll go explain that in a minute, but Eli has actually helped me with my invention and come up with different things, that would serve him well, and so he's part of the process. Every step of the way. He went to a different podcast with me. He didn't wanna join me today. He's like, I wanna do a craft. So I just, whatever he wants to do, I let him do it. He did come up here and say hi to me, ‘cause he misses me. But Eli, for five years now, he's been stuck in about the kindergarten level and he is still in diapers. And so as of right now, I have to share it cause it just, yeah, it brings me to tears. I like it, it's amazing. If you would've asked me eight weeks ago, would Eli ever live on his own? I'd say no. I would always be his caretaker or somebody would be taking care of him and doing life skills and we met an amazing woman from 2 and a half months ago, and we got on some stem cell activation patches. I can't go into full detail on that ‘cause it would take a while. But we started him on these patches eight weeks ago. He is 95% seizure-free. He is regaining the strength in his fingers, and his fine motor skills. He can unbutton his pants, which he could never do. He can take two or three instructions at a time, most days right now. Before he couldn't even take one and follow through because he'd forget halfway through, he'd forget how to put his clothes on. He couldn't brush his teeth, he couldn't shower himself. He can, as of this week, he can do all those things by himself. He's gone from 50 diapers in a week to 2, 3 to 5. Unless he gets overstimulated, then like the last couple of days he had so much going on. He went through three diapers in one day, but that's way better than 10. But all of the things that I came up with for him, for C.A.B.A. is now changing. I'm hoping time I get this caught off the ground. He won't need it. I'm super excited about that. So he's doing fantastic. It takes my breath away to think, ‘Oh my gosh!’
One thing that I changed ‘cause God led me to her and then God led me to you and all the things how he's leading up all into this. But if any of these things would've happened before C.A.B.A. It wouldn't have existed for the families that need it. I still need it for my 3-year-old. Yeah, that was a little bit long-winded for how he's doing, but he is doing amazing.
Dawn Damon: No, it's an incredible story, and happen to have the privilege and the joy of being there when you met, and the way that that all came about and hearing the testimony. So I'll have a podcast episode with that woman in the stem cell patches. If you wanna know more about that, you can send your email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave your comments in the shownotes here.
But Cheri, it's just an incredible testimony. God is so good. What would you say to some woman or man that might be listening to this today that says, I have a dream in me, but it feels like it just got shattered, but you're giving me some hope?
Cheri Tamburro: Yeah. Every step of the way when you look back at what you pushed through, and that's what I've been looking at as I push past the next fear, the next obstacle, the next struggle, the next trial, look where God got me from this and this and this. Isn't this cool? How he worked it out this way really was awful at the moment. Like my divorce, like I was blindsided. I did not know that was coming. Like I knew he had some struggles and issues, but I had no idea the extent of his diagnosis. He's getting that worked out finally, thank God, but he just doesn't know what God is doing in me and all of that. ‘Cause not only that, like every time you have a trial or a setback, you sometimes get three or five and you're like, what the heck? What am always kind of pinpointing, what am I doing wrong? It's not about you. It's about how God is using you through those struggles and trials. You can go back like you could have empathy for people that are in that same situation or worse and you're like, there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
Why don't we really start doing those last couple of years, me and my son, and now my daughter, and my husband, we start our morning with prayer and I am. They shouted off out of their mouth on the way home from work. ‘Cause I work nights and they come with me, we pray in the morning and then I hold my finger up and Eli knows what that means. He has to start saying, I am amazing. I'm fearfully, wonderfully made. I am created for a purpose. I am whatever he wants to spout off. Now we started with 10. I usually go and flow at least 30 out of my mouth now, but he's like, ‘Mom, how many do I have this morning?’ This morning he had 15 and so, and my daughter's doing the same thing. It's a great way to start training your brain for a purpose, on purpose ‘cause God created you for a purpose and I don't let them speak negativity into each other. Even if they start picking on each other, they have to speak positively. They have to breathe life into each other because they are going to be together, and I want them to know that they are fearfully, wonderfully made.
When we spout off C.AB.A, we say, what are we doing? We're spreading hope, and love in Christ. So they know the purpose. It's not to make sales. It's not to sit here and like, ‘Oh my gosh, God's gonna bless us with millions,’ and He may, which would be amazing. What can we do with that and turn around and go from there? I'm so excited to see what God does with this because every step of the way with my business, ‘cause I'm a health coach, He has blessed me abundantly with that. Then the stem cell activation that now that I've taken on, He has blessed me abundantly in eight weeks with that. Now with C.A.B.A. and all the things in the works. I'm like, how much can we give back? What can we do next? This is so exciting. I'm excited to share Eli's story. Our goal is to go to every state in America and ha anybody that will listen to us. Share his story. Share hope and love in Christ.
Dawn Damon: Beautiful!
Well, that's just an amazing purpose. It's an amazing vision and goal. And it's an amazing testimony, and thank you so much for sharing it today.
If you today are a woman who just feels like not just one trial, two trials, three trials, as Cheri said, just piling on top of you, it's one step at a time. Keep believing in God, keep doing the next right thing, and just understand, as she said, it's not about just you. Yes, it's happening to you, but it's really happening for you. God is at work for you. So bravehearted woman, keep pressing, keep believing, and keep going. And Cheri, thank you so much for being on today. How can people find you?
Cheri Tamburro: Yes, we have a Facebook Page called CABA - Cot. So if you go on there, you can find us if you need the code or whatever, I can give it to you and you can send it and put it in here. But it's really easy to find on Facebook. You can follow me on Facebook if you want, don't add me as a friend cause I have too many friends. But follow me on Facebook, Cheri Tamburro. It's different spelling. C-h-e-r-i. So you guys can follow me on there and then it'll lead you right over to C.A.B.A. I share both my testimony and my faith and my story on both pages all the time.
Dawn Damon: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being with us and for all of you bravehearted women. You can also find my tabs and links in the shownotes, but don't forget to take a moment to like us, review us and if this has added value to you today, and I believe that it has. Share it with as many people as possible. Let's get the word out for Cheri, for the Tamurrio family, for Eli, and for all of the communities that need to take advantage of C.A.B.A., changing butts anywhere, right?
Cheri Tamburro: Yep.
Dawn Damon: Thank you once again.
Hey, I'm gonna leave you Bravehearts like I always do. This is Dawn Damon, your BraveHeart mentor, asking you if is it time for you to find your brave and live your dreams!