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Most people have someone in their lives who inspires them, and Racine County Eye readers are no different. Because there is too often bad news to report, we wanted some good news to share so we asked, “Who is the hero in your life and why?” We’ll continue to add comments, but, for now, here’s what you told us: Jessica Walquist Beauchamp Mine would have to be my father. You see, my dad wasn’t always around but not because he didn’t want to be..it wasn’t his choice. My dad is a Fire Fighter so his job kept him away a lot. So when I was little sometimes I didn’t realize my dad had to be gone for 24 hours or sometimes he would pick up overtime and there’s times I wouldn’t see him for 48 hours. It was always hard for me, but I knew what my dad had to do to support us. He did it so my mom didn’t have to work and could stay at home and raise my little sister and I. But as we got older my mom decided she wanted to do something part time jus to help out with some stuff even though she didn’t have to. My dad LOVES his job and absolutely LOVES what he does. Since he’s a fire fighter/EMT and helps people I decided as I got older I wanted to follow in his footsteps and go to school doing something with my life that I love. And since I love helping people out too, I became a CNA. My dad has been doing his job for over 26 years now and loves every minute of it! My dad is truly my hero, he helps save people and I couldn’t agree with him more..it’s an awarding thing. He’s the strongest person I’ve ever met. I mean come on, he runs into burning buildings while others run out of them lol. Katie Shisler My hero is my sister-in-law Serina Shisler. she has been battling brain cancer at such a young age with two daughters being a single parent and yet she still gets up every morning looking gorgeous, goes to school, all while battling the sicknesses that the chemo and radiation does to her body. she is a beautiful woman inside and out and she is a true inspiration to never give up and always follow your dreams! Amanda Hulsey The hero in my life is my soon to be mother-in-law Liane. Liane is my hero because she is the strongest person I have ever met. I truly mean these words when I say them. In the year 2011 she had a clogged artery and went to San Diego, California for a life risking surgery similar to a bypass. The surgery was so rare, that there was only ONE surgeon in the US who could perform it. We were all fearing for her life, but she came out of the surgery like a champion (little did we know this would be the first of many procedures she would overcome). About four days after her surgery she got the most life altering news she would ever receive. The news that every family fears – She was diagnosed with stage 4 pulmonary intimal sarcoma cancer. A very rare form of sarcoma cancer located in her lungs. As disheartening as the news was, she came home after recovering from surgery and started her first rounds of chemo therapy and radiation. Despite being in pain and being sick, this woman took in my family. Despite her large amounts of hospital bills, she made room for my fiancé, my daughter & I, and let us live there rent free. (Gracious woman she is!) – After numerous rounds and months of sickness and suffering, she did it. She was finally cancer free!!! We were overjoyed, but we always kept in mind that it could come back. And to our dismay, it did. Two years later in (2014) the cancer was back and this time it was worse than before. But she STILL went into the battle headstrong. She started a pill form of chemo and although it helped shrink the cancer but it made her sicker than ever. After months of this she started severly struggling with her breathing and wound up spending a few weeks at a few different hospitals. During this time she was in and out of the ICU, put on oxygen, had a torn muscle causing her to bleed internally, was fighting many infections, had a collapsed lung, and went on to have another procedure. In this procedure a camera was sent into her lung WHILE SHE WAS AWAKE. While the camera was in her lung they discovered a mucus plug (which was removed) but behind that, was more cancer. As happy as we were seeing her recover from the procedure, we knew there was still a long road ahead of us. We finally got our Mom/Mimi home from the hospital and permanently hooked up to oxygen. It felt good to see her smiling again. Unfortunately, about a week ago we had learned that the cancer tumors had gotten worse and that they were practically blooming like flowers throughout her lungs. At this point, she was given a short timeline to spend with us and was told that chemo at this point would be more risk than reward. – Words cannot express what she, our or family is going through right now. To watch this woman that we all love so much go through this, has been by far the most heart wrenching thing I have ever witnessed. She isn’t just anyone. She is our Mom, our Mimi, our bestfriend. The woman who has fought harder than anyone I have ever known. The woman who has given everything she has to help others. (Even when she had nothing left to give!). Just a week ago when she was lying in a hospital bed with every chord, tank, and monitor hooked up to her, she leans over and asks ME how I’M doing. (As I am carrying her 2nd grandchild). I could go on for days about the wonderful things she has done for so many people. She is ALWAYS putting everyone else first. That’s just who she is. She’s the most selfless and giving person I know. Why she has to go through all of this, we will never understand. But I want her to know that she will always be my hero. I will always carry the most powerful love for her in my heart. – I know that this has been a long story to read, but her story deserves to be heard. This courageous woman is my hero, and I could only hope to be even half the woman she is one day. – Thank you everyone who who has taken the time to read, and may you all keep her in your prayers. – We love you Mom! Pete Townson Every person who have served in the US military from day one. Renee Morgan-Sura My 14 year old daughter. On January 19th Selena and her dad went to the store to pick up what they wanted for dinner. On their way home her dad had a massive stroke while driving . While heading out of the parking lot by pick n save on four mile and Douglas they were traveling north bound in the south bound lanes there was two semi’s heading straight towards them Selena had enough sense to turn the wheel putting the truck into a ditch . If he was alone or if she didn’t react the way she did neither would be here Yvonne Erdman My grandbaby Veronica. She is now 12 and has been through more than most people in an entire lifetime…not one time has she ever been anything but positive, brave, strong and uplifting. Only a 1-2% chance of making it to birth and no one knew. She has Turner Syndrome which comes with a whole list of complications…she spent the first 6 years always very sick and then finally a diagnosis because she wasn’t growing. She has to take growth hormones to grow, is already post menopausal, has a heart condition, Long QT, IBS, Asthma, High functioning autism, Non Verbal Learning Disorder, General anxiety, 3 ear surgeries to date with slight loss so far, chronic upper respiratory infections, chronic UTI’s and more. Her vacations are mostly spent in Cincinnati because that’s where her specialists are, on top of her doctors here…8 days of testing and never a complaint. She misses about 1/2 year of school every year and still makes great grades….she’s adorable, bubbly, caring and such a blessing. She has done a lot of educating and bringing awareness right here in Wisconsin…where we have discovered at least 92 more beautiful butterflies in our area just like her. She will go far in life..small but mighty. February is Turner Syndrome Awareness Month! Jess Victoria My mother. She has been through so much in her life and put up with having an ill child. She’s been through divorce, alcoholism in family, been a soldiers wife. She has never abandoned me and my family. She is strong, caring and has her own personality. We have always been close to each other. Gretchen Campbell Berthiaume My hero is my daughter! She was born with Spina Bifida. The doctors told us she would never do anything! She competes in track, field, sled hockey and triathlons! She has a drive that many typically developing kids (and adults) don’t possess. She has been through so much in her young life(she’s 12)…you would think she would be bitter & unhappy…but she is not! She always has a smile on her face and brings joy to everyone she meets!
my girl!!
Megan Klemm Niggemann Mine is my father. Worked and studied his ass off to become an accountant in a family of carpenters and plumbers, became the boss of his office ealrly on (I’d already arrived), he worked his ass off, made partner and raised us 3 with mom, was the treasurer of the local Lions club, on the church finance council, and apart of a few other groups and clubs. When he was diagnosed with a brain tumor he was a rock for everyone else and lived 23 months after they discovered the stage 4 aggressive cancer in his brain. Only 4 months shy of meeting his first grandchild my daughter. He took everything in stride and tried to take care of all of us until his last day and after…he may have been a busy man, but he taught us a lot. Jennifer Garibay My hero in my life is my boyfriend. He has helped me turn my life around. He is my knight in shining armor. Karen Karen My son is my hero for saving my life and letting me know that I am an alcoholic. Because of him I saw the pain I was causing him and my family,as well as myself, and now I am 6-1/2 years sober. Tami McKay My hero is my sister. She teaches Special Ed at one of the middle schools and she works tirelessly to make a difference in the life of her students! She’s the greatest!

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In addition to our education features, we’ll be kicking off a series of stories highlighting how parents, students, and educators are adapting to the impact of COVID-19 on education. If this is important to you, please consider donating to our education reporting fund. https://business.facebook.com/donate/1846323118855149/3262802717172659/