KOLD Heroes: The woman behind a foundation helping families of First Responders

(Source: Tucson News Now)
(Source: Tucson News Now)
Updated: Oct. 26, 2018 at 4:11 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Gabrielle Rhind has been working around-the-clock on her foundation, Kent’s Heart and Hope, since her husband’s death more than a year ago. Kent was a motor officer with Tucson Police Department for decades. His cancer diagnosis blindsided the family. Rhind says TPD colleagues helped with donated time off, and other ways to make sure the family was okay financially.

“During that time, he said when he gets better, his mission was to do something to give back to everyone who helped him,” Rhind said.

Before that could happen, cancer took Kent’s life. It wasn’t long after that Rhind started the foundation.

“I’m sort of fulfilling that promise and that wish he wanted,” she said.

Kent’s Heart and Hope Foundation helps first responders and their families as they go through illness, treatments, and other issues that come up that sideline them for a while. It includes everything from keeping families afloat to lifting spirits.

“All the donations and help goes 100 percent to the person that needs it,” said Rhind.

One of those people is Sean Santos. He’s a police officer in southern Arizona, but isn’t working as he recovers from cancer.

“I wasn’t looking for help and didn’t know I was going to need it, and Gabby found me,” he said.

He says thanks to the foundation, his family is doing okay financially, even with just one paycheck coming in. Before Santos left for Phoenix for surgery to remove the cancer, Rhind, on behalf of the foundation, helped organize a motorcycle ride for Santos.

“That was a great release for everyone involved,” said Santos.

He says he doesn’t know where he and his family would be without Kent’s Heart and Hope Foundation.

“Beyond words thankful,” he said. “I consider her family now, she’s one of my best friends.”

Rhind says in the past 18 months, the foundation has helped families of Border Patrol agents, Pima County Sheriff’s Deputies, firefighters, and the Sahuarita Police Department. She says the need is much greater around southern Arizona than even she thought. She says she’ll keep working to help the families of those who help us.

“That’s what my husband wanted, all about giving back,” she said.

For more information about Kent’s Heart and Hope Foundation, click here: https://www.facebook.com/Kents-Heart-Hope-Foundation-1689631524662493/

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