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Girl who's needed nearly a dozen operations will now represent area at Congress of Future of Medical LeadersSubmitted: 01/31/2014
Girl who's needed nearly a dozen operations will now represent area at Congress of Future of Medical Leaders
Story By Adam Fox

EAGLE RIVER - Medical groups use the Congress of Future Medical Leaders to inspire, motivate
and direct students following medicine.

It's an event for the brightest young Americans.

This year's event will include an Eagle River junior.

Jessica Sullivan goes to school at Northland Pines High School. She's excited to
see the nation's capital for the first time.

But she wasn't completely on board with the opportunity when she first got the
letter in the mail.

"At first I was kind of indifferent because I thought it was a scam, just
something to get money," Sullivan said. "And then we looked into it and when we
saw it was backed by the American Heart association then we began to get excited."

Sullivan has a genetic condition that impacts the symmetry of her body.

That's why her left leg was about four inches shorter than her right leg.

Doctors have helped extend the bone through painful operations to match the
length of her right leg. Sullivan says she's had more than 10 surgeries.

But her mother Theresa finds inspiration in her daughter.

"Every day keeping her focus up and her optimism and determination and you know
she's been my inspiration," Theresa said. "So I'm not just proud of her but I'm
in awe."

Jessica Sullivan says she wants to help people the way doctors helped her.
She'll be in Washington for the Congress on February 14th.

The Sullivan's will get the chance to meet PhDs, Nobel Prize winners and Ivy
League reps during the three day program. Sullivan says each day's program
starts at 9 a.m. and ends at 11 p.m.





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 IN OTHER NEWS

FOREST COUNTY - Bringing your pet along to watch fireworks might seem like a fun way to spend the Fourth of July, but you could be doing more harm than good.

July 5th is one of the busiest days of the year for most animal shelters.

That's because fearful pets try to escape the bangs and flashes from fireworks and end up lost.

Forest County Humane Society president Jay Schaefer says don't let yourself add to your pet's stress.

Play it down, and make the fireworks a good thing with positive talk and treats.

"They're reading cues from us constantly. So be careful of your body language and the cues you're giving them. If you act like fireworks are a big scary thing they're gonna be like, 'oh my god fireworks are scary,'" says Schaefer.

Exercise can be another way to calm your pet before the big light show.

Burning off the energy earlier in the day may help your pet go to sleep early.

"Take them for a jog on the Fourth of July. I know it's hectic, but do something so they're not all amped up at night when the fireworks go off," says Schaefer.

Like many humans, pets like the smell of lavender.

You can try diffusing the scent around the house to put your pet at ease.

Make sure you have a well-fitting collar and identification tag on your pet.

If flashes are too bright, you might want to close the curtains.

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WAUSAU - Every year, firefighters around the country ask their communities to fill up boots with money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Wausau Fire Department kicked off its "Fill the Boot" campaign Tuesday morning.

The fire department will be at local events throughout the summer to collect donations.

The fundraiser helps with research and treatment for neuromuscular diseases for kids and adults.

"It's kind of a rewarding part of the job. Most of what we do is off camera, you don't really get to see all aspects of the fire department. It is a great chance for us to get out there and see all the programs we are involved in to help,"says firefighter Matt Tormohlen.

The fundraiser also gives Wausau-area kids the chance to go to a MDA camp.

15-year-old Roy Thorson lives with spinal muscular atrophy and has gone to the camp for the last ten years.

You can find him collecting "Fill the Bucket" donations right alongside the firefighters this summer.

"It's nice to see the generosity of the public. It's nice to the firefighters willing to put their times towards this. It's just cool to see a group come together for a good cause," says Thorson.

You can also send in "Fill the Boot" donations online.

See link below.

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MADISON - Republican legislative leaders and Governor Scott Walker are once again set to meet as a deal to pass the state's $76 billion budget remains elusive.

Walker was to meet privately Wednesday with Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.

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MADISON - Democratic state Senator Kathleen Vinehout has registered to run for governor, the first step in officially launching a campaign.

Vinehout, of Alma, filed the paperwork on June 14 to register a campaign committee.

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WAUSAU - Many of us try to honor our veterans whenever we can.

Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) added one more way.

The Governor visited several veteran-owned businesses across the state Tuesday for Veteran-Owned Business Day.

Tuesday afternoon he stopped at Prosthetic Orthotic Center in Wausau.

He says veteran-owned businesses are good for other veterans and the economy.

"We found statistically that veterans are about 30 percent more likely to hire fellow veterans as employees," Walker said. "So it's good all the way around."

If you are a veteran-owned business, you can register with the state at WisVets.com

That way you can get a decal that says Wisconsin Veteran-Owned for your business window or door.

You also get listed in a state veteran-owned business directory.

"We're branding it, letting the public know that businesses that are owned by veterans, letting them know whether it's in a sign in their window or whether it's on the website, or other ways that we can draw attention," Walker said.

About 390,000 veterans live in Wisconsin, and about 11 percent of the state's businesses are veteran-owned.

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ADAMS COUNTY - Police are asking for help finding an Illinois man who disappeared while out for a walk in Adams County.

Fifty-nine-year-old William Sheeran was last seen near a boat landing on Browndeer Avenue in the Adams County Town of Monroe.

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MERRILL - Six years ago, Merrill promoted the River Bend Trail across the city to try to get people to use it. Now, the trail sees more than 100 people every day and is scheduled for more expansion.

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