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Parade float brings transplant recipients togetherSubmitted: 07/02/2013
Story By Lex Gray

Parade float brings transplant recipients together
RHINELANDER - "Last year in early May, she woke up very ill after a weekend of birthday parties," said Michelle Wolfe. "She woke up, and by that evening, we found out she was in heart failure."

Wolfe found out a few weeks later that her daughter, Lauren, needed a new heart.

On June 27, she got one.

"We do think of that family often, to think about the fact that, in the face of a loss, they chose to give someone else new life," Wolfe said. "To see that life in front of us, that we share every day, is really special."


While most families were celebrating on Independence Day last year, Lauren and her family were in the hospital.

"It was a very emotional summer, and it impacts the whole family," said her grandpa, Tim Helmick.

This summer, they're not in the hospital. But Helmick still remembers all the other families who are waiting for an organ.

"It happened shortly after Lauren had her transplant, and it just popped into my head as something I felt I should do," Helmick said.

Tim is busy building a 4th of July parade float for transplant recipients and their families.

"When you see the impact and the new life it can give to somebody, it's like the ultimate gift of hope," Wolfe said.

Wolfe and Helmick hope people watching the parade will think about becoming a donor.

"There's an online registry that people can go out to sign up and commit their wishes to be a donor, [to] encourage people to think about it and decide whether they want to be an organ donor if that opportunity was ever presented, and to share those wishes with family members," Wolfe said.

To sign up for the organ donor float, call Tim 715-490-1261.

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 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 05/26/2017

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

Well tell you about a woman who was rescued after her plane landed in Lake Tomahawk and turned over.

We'll update you on the charges faced by the owner of It Matters to One Animal Rescue in Oneida County. 39 animals from the center were seized in early February following complaints of mistreatment.

And we'll show you a new device at the Rhinelander VA Clinic designed to help people who lost their ability to walk, and we talk to an Army veteran who is the first person at the clinic to try the equipment.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

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RHINELANDER - Five years ago Army veteran Beth Bowman was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and lost her ability to walk on her own. 

It was crushing news to the once active 43- year- old veteran.

But this week she tried out a new device at the Rhinelander Veterans Affairs Clinic that gives her a new outlook on life. 
 
"She has very limited or no use of some leg muscles," said Rhinelander V.A. Physical Therapist Dr. Wesley Spurgeon. 

The disease broke down the ability for her brain to talk to the nerves in her legs.

 She went from a cane to crutches to a wheelchair. 

"It was kind of crushing, I was using a cane within a year of my diagnosis," said Bowman. 

Last month Spurgeon offered some hope to Bowman. 

He learned about a nerve stimulator at a class.

"We place electrodes over the top of the muscle we want to stimulate," said Spurgeon.

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WOODRUFF - On Friday a pilot's world turned upside down, literally. 

A float plane flipped and landed upside down on Lake Tomahawk Friday morning. The rollover happened near the Indian Shores Campground in Wooduff.

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BOWLER - North Star Mohican Casino will celebrate 25 years in gaming during the month of May and throughout 2017. On  Thursday, May 25, the "Midwest's Friendliest Casino" offered a free barbecue and ceremonial cake-cutting to mark the occasion. Guests enjoyed entertainment, games, and prizes all afternoon, including musical performances by Clint Miller and Kenny James Duo.

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WHEATON, IL - A suburban Chicago judge has ordered a mental fitness evaluation for a Wisconsin man charged with shooting and seriously injuring an Amtrak conductor.

The (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reports 79-year-old Edward Klein's public defender told the DuPage County judge Thursday that she has "bona fide doubt" of the West Allis man's mental fitness.

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RHINELANDER - Stephanie Schneider and the It Matters to One (IM21) animal rescue center in Sugar Camp will not get their dogs back.

Lawyers in a civil case reached an agreement in Oneida County Court on Thursday. Schneider and the rescue had petitioned the county and the Oneida County Humane Society for the return of the dogs. But on Thursday, Schneider and the rescue asked that petition be dismissed.

About 40 dogs have been in the care of the Oneida County Humane Society since early February. At that time, the sheriff's deputies seized the dogs from the rescue after allegations of animal mistreatment. Before she dropped her challenge, Schneider had hoped to get the dogs back.

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RHINELANDER - A Rhinelander woman will face another day in court. Ellen Tran is charged with Second Degree Reckless Homicide.
 
Her step- son Avery Edwards died after Tran gave him a shower back in April. 

People from the Tri-County Council and Bikers Against Child Abuse were in the court room on Thursday, wearing pins and buttons to support Edwards. 

The defense tried to argue that the state didn't have enough evidence to prove probable cause to charge Tran in her stepson's death. 

Edwards was 20 months old when his stepmother, Tran, was giving him a shower on April 14.

In the criminal complaint Tran said during the shower Edwards fell, but Tran said she could not remember how he fell or what he hit. 

The Fond du Lac medical examiner later found that Edwards' death was caused by blunt force trauma.

 Tran's attorney Amy Scholtz argued there wasn't evidence that Tran caused the injury that led to Edward's death. 

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