Our Family’s Story


When I moved with my husband Ron to Milwaukee in 1993 I looked forward to starting a family, becoming involved in the community, and leading an uneventful yet meaningful life. And that’s how the following fourteen years unfolded. We were blessed with raising three daughters: Laura, Sara, and Rachel in Milwaukee’s close-knit community. Life was busy but good.

One morning In February of 2009, when Laura was a high school freshman, and after she had been complaining for several weeks of increasingly painful headaches, she suffered a seizure and was rushed to the hospital. Within twelve hours of being diagnosed with a brain tumor, Laura stopped breathing; three days later, the doctors declared her brain dead. Our worst nightmare—every parent’s worst nightmare—had come true.

Three years later we were again blindsided when I was diagnosed with a benign and unrelated brain tumor and underwent emergency surgery. During my better-than-expected recovery, I was relieved to discover the concept of post-traumatic growth (PTG). I learned that our experience of surviving and thriving, even while still grieving, was more common than we thought.

I hope that sharing my memoir and experiences will help you gain practical strategies, resilience, and hope as you navigate life’s inevitable losses.