Family in Recovery Needs Our Help

Dear friends, family, and kind strangers,

My brave sister and her three young children need our help in their continued need for safety. They have been through what seems like an endless nightmare. I cannot express how grateful we would be for your support in our goal to lift Michelle and her three young children from ashes of the wake of their abuser.

 In late 2016, Michelle escaped an extremely abusive marriage where she lived in almost total social isolation with her then unborn daughter and two toddler sons. Michelle got a totaled car running so that she and the kids could escape the torture she was enduring in exchange for menial food for she and the kids. She had not driven in almost three years. They went into hiding living between the car & in the studio of a kind stranger. In addition to the psychological trauma, extreme financial abuse led to no money left in savings and destroyed credit. They were forced to put their beloved dogs of ten years into foster care and nearly lost every precious belonging they had.

 On Christmas Eve of 2016, her husband was arrested for seven domestic violence (DV) felonies. Later that year he pled guilty, in-abeyance to two of the felonies, for an agreement for extensive therapy and provide for the children. He has done nothing significant to recover and has paid no child support. He never took a single supervised visit of the children and has not seen them in over 1.5 years. 

 In February of 2017, YWCA stepped in and gave her and the kids a high-security apartment with a lease. She is successfully participating in their DV homelessness recovery program. Despite her circumstances, Michelle works very hard each day to make things happen for herself and her children. Her oldest son (age 5) Edison participates in an average of 8-10 hours of various therapies daily, which highly involve Michelle. Edison was once a typically developing boy, however after witnessing horrible DV and living in almost total social isolation with Michelle and Winston for over two years, he stopped speaking; in addition to living with Autism. But, after their escape and with the help of the care team she has assembled; Edison has recently begun regaining communication. Winston (age 4), Michelle's youngest son, has also made tremendous recovery of speech and behavior through his daily trauma therapy-based preschool, and the weekly parent/child therapy he attends with Michelle. Michelle’s youngest child Eva, is a healthy baby girl. 

 Michelle has also made tremendous strides in her own recovery. The Governor of Utah recently came to meet her and was moved and proud of her plan to become self- sustainable and accomplishments. Michelle is doing everything in her power to move forward. This fall she will sit for her ASQ Certified Quality  Engineer exam; so that resume her career as medical device  quality engineer.

Her biggest obstacle now is finishing the divorce and custody case. So, I am appealing to tender hearts & attempting to gather money for the custody and divorce fund. If any additional is left over, it will be to reach settlement (25K needed) for the significant private student debt (not dischargeable and not eligible for income driven repayment), which he lived off, spent recklessly, and he left her responsible. This debt makes it nearly impossible for her to obtain an apartment or work a job with reasonable hours & demands. 

I intend to provide documentation of the payments to debtors and lawyers for transparency purposes, via updates here. You may also pay her lawyer directly (please contact me or her for details.) The need for private counsel is critical in providing Michelle and the children the safety & security they need in the financial and custody & visitation portions. Legal aid is not an option for the complexity of this case.

We are so thankful for providing Michelle & the kids with love, community and support; it is those crucial elements and “something so much larger than herself,” which Michelle  attributes to their incredible success, thus far. Donating and/or sharing this GoFundMe with your social network would mean so much, as well.

All our love, 
Angela and the rest of the Nelson family
  • Ashly Robinson 
    • $100 
    • 42 mos
  • Ashley Bronson 
    • $25 
    • 43 mos
  • Casey Hogan 
    • $100 
    • 44 mos
  • Ashley Romney 
    • $100 
    • 44 mos
  • Lisa Keyes 
    • $200 
    • 44 mos
See all


Angela Marcus 
Salt Lake City, UT
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