When Brandon and Brian Skrzypchak of Wausau were born in 1979, the outlook was bleak. Brandon weighed just over 3 pounds, and Brian was 2 pounds, 13 ounces. Their parents put them in God's hands and let the doctors and staff take charge. Brandon was finally able to come home after two months, while Brian remained hospitalized for 9 1/2 months. Despite a few setbacks the first two years, these brothers have met life's challenges and have made their family proud.
Bridget Duffy of Wausau was born with hip dysplasia, where the ball of her right hip was outside of the socket. But that didn't stop this little girl from competing in various pageants and taking dance. By the time she was four years old; she had undergone five surgeries and had been in eight body casts. Ministry Saint Joseph's Children's Hospital was almost a second home to Bridget's family.
On September 17, 1980, Carly and Kate Sheahen were born at Ministry Saint Joseph's Children's Hospital. While the arrival of identical twin girls was a joyous time for the Sheahen family, it was also very frightening as their arrival was six weeks earlier than expected. Both girls had complications that required surgery. In addition, Carly was diagnosed with moderate Cerebral Palsy.
Casey loved playing basketball and softball and has always been an avid Green Bay Packer fan. In 1995, she was diagnosed with osteogenic sarcoma, a rare bone cancer. Casey had to undergo surgery, where a bone from a cadaver was inserted into her leg; as well as many sessions of chemotherapy.
In 2007, while most 17-year-old girls were shopping for prom dresses or planning for college, Jackie Ripke of Wisconsin Rapids had other things on her mind - would she celebrate her 18th birthday? Jackie learned the devastating news that she had Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML), a fast-growing cancer affecting the blood and bone marrow.
In July 2001, 14-year-old Jennifer took a ride on a six-wheel ATV. To this day no one is quite sure what happened, but the vehicle flipped. By the time she arrived at the emergency department at Ministry Saint Joseph's Hospital, she had signs of a severe head injury.