FREEPORTOne day, Rose was a soccer mom, working two jobs and driving kids to soccer and swimming; Chuck was busy being a dad and husband; and Dylan and Mirrisa were busy being brother and sister.
Now, Rose spends her days nurturing Mirrisa, driving her to therapy and appointments; Dad is working harder than ever; and 10-year-old Dylan waits patiently, anxiously for his sister to recover so they can go swimming and play soccer together.
You see, everyone thought Mirrisa Erdman was a healthy, normal 6-year-old, who got frequent headaches and earaches. Then, one Tuesday, teachers at Jones-Farrar Early Learning Center observed Mirrisas left hand was limp; they called her parents, Rose and Chuck.
A CAT scan showed Madisons UW Hospital doctors a large brain tumor (pilocytic astrocytoma); doctors said if they had not caught the tumor, Mirrisa wouldve probably gone to sleep and never woke up.
Doctors put Mirrisa on a protocol to shrink the tumor so they could operate. After a nine-and-a-half hour surgery, Mirrisa was alive, but could not use her left side. The next two to three weeks, Mirrisa spent medicated and in total darkness so her brain could begin healing. Family and friends waited and prayed.
When Mirrisa stabilized, she was transported to Chicagos Rehabilitation Institute to begin the long, difficult process of taking her life back.
Mirrisa is now walking with a leg brace and working to regain full use of her left side. She is determined to swim and play soccer with her brother, friends and classmates.
But even though Mirrisa is now home, she and her family are still dealing with a lot because every week, Mirrisa must travel to Rockfords SwedishAmerican Hospital and UW Hospital and Chicagos Rehabilitation Institute for follow-up treatments. This rigorous schedule is exhausting for the whole familyphysically and financially.
So, if you like live bands, dancing, pig roasts, games, prizes or silent auctions, consider spending this Saturday, Aug. 12, at Mirrisa Erdmans Benefit at Freeports Moose Lodge, 601 E. South St. (East U.S. Bus. Hwy. 20) any time between 3 p.m. and midnight.
If you would like to help or have questions, contact Nickee Bender at 232-7971, Marg Christensen at 233-7355 or Mary Ann Eirhart at 235-8208.
From the Aug. 9-15, 2006, issue