Laird Center for Medical Research
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Marshfield Clinic physicians, scientists and staff members are paving the path to a safer, healthier future by supporting development of the Laird Center for Medical Research. Patients and families of patients are supporting our efforts with their donations.
Kim Koziel of Sheldon, Wisconsin, lost his wife Suzanne to cancer in 2004. At the age of 38, Suzanne left behind four young children and a grieving husband. Since that time, family and friends of the Koziel family have contributed to Marshfield Clinic. Through this gift and what it means to other people, Kim believes Suzanne’s legacy continues.
Luke Pernsteiner battled Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 16. He and his sister, Nicole, have since both donated proceeds from the sale of their livestock at the Taylor County Fair to Marshfield Clinic. Their generosity is a model for all generations to emulate.
Mark Bugher, Chairman, Laird Center for Medical Research Campaign and Advisory Council: "At Marshfield Clinic, we're building the Future of Medicine. Extensive collaboration on research has made Marshfield Clinic a world-class facility, helping thousands of people live better lives. The Laird Center for Medical Research will allow researchers to capitalize on their successes, to help even more people."
"Patients and families of patients are living the future of medicine by supporting efforts at Marshfield Clinic with their donations. We hope you'll join them by making a contribution to the Laird Center for Medical Research."
Kim Koziel, husband of the late Suzanne Koziel: "...when she came to the rationalization that she wasn't going to make it..."who's going to take care of the kids?"...you know, that was her biggest fear. Because, you know, 'I've spent all this time with the kids, I don't want that time to be wasted' (Suzanne said)."
Kim lost his wife to cancer.
Kim Koziel: "Everything happened so fast, and the kids went from having a stay-at-home mom all the time - in six months - to having nobody. You know, their mom was gone. I just can't believe how well they're dealing with this."
"She could always make anybody laugh. She was real outgoing and just a hoot to be around. We were married over 15 years and had four kids. We were in it for the long haul."
"Raising the kids...that was her big thing. That's what she really liked doing with her life. When we first found out, Suzanne didn't want the kids to know right away, because she thought she could beat this thing. She was such a positive person, so fun and outgoing, that she didn't think that this could really be happening...'as long as know the good stuff, don't bother me when things are going bad.'"
"These kids are 13 and 11, and the girls are five and six. Try explaining that their mother isn't going to be here. And that was a real hard thing to do. I explained to them what was going on and I said that there's not a lot of chance that she's going to make it through this."
"Her chemotherapy was handled by the Marshfield Clinic Cancer Center in Eau Claire. The nurses that run that Cancer Center, they got to be like family for us."
The Koziel family made a generous contribution to Marshfield Clinic.
Kim Koziel: "There are so many different types of cancer, and so much money that's needed to be able to figure out how to combat this stuff. The money was donated in Suzanne's name, and the way that it was dispersed was in ways that I thought that Suzanne would have liked it to be."
"It never gets any easier...her being gone, but I think it's a little softer, it's not quite as hard. When you think about it, you find different ways to deal with her loss and I think we've adjusted fairly well."
Luke Pernsteiner, Marshfield Clinic patient and cancer survivor: "I was in high school when I was first diagnosed. It was just kind of shocking, I guess. You know, you never really think it's going to happen to you."
Nicole Pernsteiner, Luke's sister: "The first day, I remember coming home from school, and no one was there, and it was strange, because..."
"Luke's been optimistic since he's been a young kid. He's always had a good outlook on life, and everything is good. He's just always so positive."
Luke Pernsteiner: "My family was just so supportive, especially my parents. They took me down to Marshfield. My mom took me down for radiation, actually, five days of the week. Everybody around me was great, so that definitely helped."
"The Marshfield Clinic, from the first day, was great. I mean that I was diagnosed very quickly and the treatment...not to say that treatment is good...but, I don't think it could have been handled any better. I mean, my doctor was just awesome."
Luke and Nicole donate proceeds from the sale of their livestock to Marshfield Clinic.
Luke Pernsteiner: "After I had cancer, I started donating to the oncology research at the Marshfield Clinic."
Nicole Pernsteiner: "I plan to continue making donations from my animals to the Marshfield Clinic, because it's very important to me."
Luke Pernsteiner: "I've made donations, and I'm in college - I don't have any money, so from my standpoint, if I can make a donation, people who have a lot more money than me...they should have no problem donating. It doesn't have to be a lot, just anything."
"I worry about my cancer coming back, definitely, but I try not to think about it too much. I try not to worry about it. I guess I hope it doesn't happen."
Nicole Pernsteiner: "It's important to me, to donate to Marshfield Clinic because that's the place that helped Luke out, and I'm hoping that the money I donate can help little sisters like me so they don't have to see their big brother go through what I did."