Spring ’16 Recipient
In 2005, area nonprofit 4PeteSake got its start when the River Valley community rallied behind the idea that in a time of need, neighbors will step in and help each other out. 11 years ago that person in need was 20 year-old bone cancer survivor Peter Greenwood. Peter needed a new generation prosthetic leg that his insurance company wasn’t willing to pay for. Donations on Peter’s behalf during that inaugural Day in the Park event raised more than anyone anticipated – and far more than Peter’s family needed for the prosthetic. The money left over has been paid forward every year since, helping over 60 River Valley residents in their own time of need. This year’s 4PeteSake recipient is, like Greenwood, another young adult: Justin Taylor of Plain.
When Justin was 13, he was a seventh grader and a straight-A student. But then he developed a headache – an intensely painful migraine headache – that wouldn’t go away. He couldn’t get out of bed. Couldn’t go to school. Days passed. Weeks passed. Months. He was prescribed countless drugs. He tried acupuncture, meditation, yoga, chiropractics, nerve blocks. Nothing worked. Now he’s 17.
This was life until January when Justin was referred to a pain treatment center at the Mayo Clinic. The three-week clinic doesn’t offer a cure for pain; but it helps patients manage life with chronic pain. And it works. It worked for Justin.
4PeteSake has been able to help Justin’s family cover expenses incurred during his treatment and continued recovery.
Fall ’15 Recipients
Spring Green’s Gaile Burchill has been in the business of helping others for nearly 20 years. A specialist in elder care, Burchill had to stop working in the spring of this year when she was struck with a chronic migraine and later suffered a concussion as the result of a fall. Damage to Burchill’s brain has left her severely fatigued and in need of long term rest and recovery. 4PeteSake has been able to help Gaile with household expenses during her convalescence.
Not long after her 14th birthday, Parker Goebel of Lone Rock, went to the Richland Center ER with a stiff neck and a tingling sensation in her fingertips. She was diagnosed with a virus and was sent home. When she started battling a high fever and a loss of mobility on her left side, her mom took her back to the hospital. She was sent home again. When her condition worsened, her parents took her to the Children’s Hospital in Madison, where she was diagnosed with Neuromyelitis Optica. She spent the next 66 days in a hospital bed. Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) affects the optic nerve and the spinal cord, and can result in sight loss and paralysis, among other symptoms. After periods of recovery, people who suffer from NMO often experience unexpected relapses. With Parker’s care resulting in a significant lost income for parents Susan and Brian, 4PeteSake was able to help the Goebels get back on their feet as they adjust to Parker’s medical needs. Parker is currently stable and back in school.
Spring Green’s Anna Hach feels lucky to have a good, full-time job. But with a disabled husband at home who requires significant care, even a full time job wasn’t enough to keep from getting behind on bills. But Hach didn’t reach out to 4PeteSake until this fall, after her husband Lester received a below the knee amputation of his right leg, requiring months of rehabilitation in Sauk City. Lester (also known as “Chip”) suffers from multiple ailments, including diabetes, fiber neuropathy and stage 3 kidney disease, and with this latest setback, Hach started to feel overwhelmed. Her home needed a new roof, and would need a new handicap ramp when her husband returned from rehab. To help Hach get through this challenging time, 4PeteSake was able to help catch her up on household expenses and contacted Sauk ADRC about helping Hach with a grant for the handicap ramp.
When you’re on a fixed income, adding twice monthly trips to Madison for essential medical care can take a significant toll. Such was the case for Betty Hill of Spring Green, when she was diagnosed earlier this year with stage five kidney disease. (At Stage 5, the kidneys have lost nearly all their ability to function and transplant or dialysis becomes the only alternative.) With Hill’s limited resources going to pay for gas – and facing costly car repairs – she started to get behind on utility and other bills. As she readies herself and her home for a transition to dialysis, 4PeteSake has been able to help Hill with her car repair and transportation costs.
Despite a history of illness that had kept her on disability, Nancy Nagler would tell you that she has lived a blessed life. A “career volunteer” originally from Prairie du Sac, Nagler moved to Spring Green in 2008. A variety of volunteer work was keeping Nagler busy and fulfilled until this past summer, when an extended hospital stay put a strain on her fixed income. 4PeteSake was able to help get her current on medical bills.
Loree and Brent Hendricks
Disabled, but not yet approved for Government Disability, Loree and Brent Hendricks of Lone Rock were in dire straights before reaching out to 4PeteSake this fall. Chronic neck and back issues had already sidelined Brent when Loree had to stop working in the summer of 2014 due to breathing difficulties brought on my chronic bronchitis and emphysema. 4PeteSake was able to help get the Hendricks caught up on household expenses as they await a decision on their applications for Disability.