NewsContact Denver7Denver7 | Gives


Grandmother loses husband to heart attack while moving from Alaska to Colorado with 5 granddaughters

Dawn Kuzik-Michal now living in Parker
Posted at 9:45 PM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-11 00:54:04-04

Editor's note: Contact7 seeks out audience tips and feedback to help people in need, resolve problems and hold the powerful accountable. If you know of a community need our call center could address, or have a story idea for our investigative team to pursue, please email us at or call (720) 462-7777. Find more Contact7 stories here.

PARKER, Colo. -- They're all in Colorado now, but getting here wasn't easy.

"If I didn't have my faith, we'd probably be in big trouble," said Dawn Kuzik-Michal.

HOW TO HELP: To give to the Contact7 Gives Fund and to Kuzik-Michael click here.

It all started with a new job for Kuzik-Michal.

“I work for Troy Forming and Concrete," Kuzik-Michal said.

She moved from Alaska to Colorado in January to start that job and the plan was for her husband, Kenneth, to follow just a few weeks later – along with their five granddaughters who they are raising on their own.

"I had to start the job on the 13th," Kuzik-Michal said. “And on the 24th, I got a phone call stating that my husband passed away from a massive heart attack."

Her whole world turned upside down.

"He cooked, he cleaned, he did laundry,” Kuzik-Michal said. “He did everything. He was a very active part of their lives."

After flying back to Alaska, Kuzik-Michal decided to continue with the Colorado move.

"It was the best place for me and for the kids," she said. “They have parents that are addicts."

Her new company has been great, giving her two weeks to make the move after she just started working.

"Amazing company to work for," Kuzik-Michal said.

And a post on the Facebook page called "Free in Parker" led to outpouring of donations, including furniture and other household items for the new Coloradans.

“I could never ask for a better community to be in," Kuzik-Michal said.

Someone else spotted that Facebook ad, too. The nonprofit Butterfly Foundation based in Centennial.

"It helps Colorado families in crisis who - through no fault of their own - have gone through a tragedy," said founder Nancy Fitzgerald.

Kuzik-Michal's story struck a chord with Fitzgerald.

"Being a widow myself, I know that she didn't realize how hard it is to be on your own," she said.

The foundation has promised to match our Contact7 Gives fundraising efforts, up to $1,500.

Perhaps enough to get Kuzik-Michal back on her feet, even though Kuzik-Michal initially and politely declined.

"She told us to help someone else, when truly, she probably needs it the most,” Fitzgerald said.

A family keeping the faith after unthinkable loss.

“This is why I continue my struggle every day,” Kuzik-Michal said. “For my grandchildren.”

Denver7 has created an easy way for people to help others in our community. We have featured the stories of people who need help and now you help them with a cash donation through Contact7 Gives. One hundred percent of contributions to the fund will be used to help people in our local community.