Woman donates something special to Eagles’ telethon*

Michelle LittleEvery year, the Eagles’ Heart and Cancer Telethon comes and goes and Michelle Little, of Bridgeport, contemplates donating something special to be auctioned. She’s wanted to give for years, but for reasons she’s uncertain, she has consistently passed on the opportunity.

But this year is different.

Michelle has decided to present telethon organizers with a variegated, king-size afghan that she created many years ago, but never used because she had no need for a blanket so big. She always kept it in plastic and in good condition for the most appropriate person or fundraiser. Now it is time for Michelle to part with the afghan and the proceeds from its sale will benefit regional heart and cancer programs.

(Photo-As someone who has personally battled numerous heart and cancer health problems, Michelle Little is donating a handmade variegated afghan to the Eagles Heart and Cancer Telethon. It will be auctioned at the Eagles Club. Michelle’s afghan was being cleaned and wasn’t available for this picture. (Photo by Correne Martin))

“It’s the Heart and Cancer Telethon, and I just felt like I wanted to do this. I also want people to know how severe illness like I’ve experienced can really change your life,” Michelle stated.

Michelle has suffered a multitude of health issues throughout her life, including both heart and cancer complications such as stage two Hodgkins lymphoma at age 19 and, more recently, congestive heart failure.
She grew up in the rural Mt. Hope area near Wisconsin Badger Camp and, as recently as 2011, was a janitorial employee of Wauzeka-Steuben Schools. She was employed there for almost seven years until her health deteriorated enough that she could no longer work.

Michelle said she has battled MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, a bacterium that can infect the whole body), hepatitis, fibromyalgia, respiratory failure, ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome), thyroid cancer, Raynaud’s syndrome and severe dizziness. She has experienced heart blockages and allergies to medications. Her spleen and gall bladder have been removed. She has a pacemaker. She has spent considerable time in and out of hospitals and clinics and has been medflighted.

Michelle said her doctors believe most of her issues are hereditary. Thankfully, medication and healing art therapy have helped to control most of her symptoms. While her husband is away often driving semi, she spends her days taking care of their one dog and two cats, cross-stitching and bird watching.

Michelle knows she’s not alone in her health struggles, and her purpose in donating the afghan is pure and simple— she wants to make her mark and inspire people to live life to the fullest.

“I just wanted to make someone happy with a nice handmade gift, and if it can help someone else by bringing in a donation to the telethon, then I’ll have done what I wanted to do,” she said.

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By Correne Martin, Courier Press, Prairie du Chien.