March 31, 2011

Local family aids ailing sister and aunt

Local family aids ailing sister and aunt

By ALLAN TINKER, Information and comments courtesy LaDonna Erdmann
On March 15, Karissa Erdmann, Goodrich, cut and donated her hair to make wigs for cancer patients.  She is in her first year at Minot State University and donated her hair once before when she was in eighth grade. 
Karissa’s aunt, Laurel Wolkenhauer of Flaxton, was diagnosed with cancer in September of 2003 and has gone through several surgeries and rounds of chemotherapy and radiation.  Laurel’s last surgery was in September, 2010, in Rochester, Minnesota. 
Laurel is Goodrich School teacher LaDonna Erdmann’s younger sister and they have an older brother, Dennis Benge and wife Jodi, who live in Bowbells and farm their parent’s land and some of his own.  They have two grown daughters and a son that is an eighth grader at Bowbells.
Laurel is the business manager at Burke Central School and drives the Flaxton bus route. 
In 2001, Laurel donated a kidney to her dad who has diabetes. 
In September of 2003, she had a hysterectomy and that’s when they first found cancer.  LaDonna thought that they diagnosed this cancer as ovarian, although not all the doctors agreed. 
Laurel went through several different surgeries and many bouts of chemo and radiation.  She lost her hair most of the time with chemo, except the last time, and wore a wig. 
Laurel remarried in 1993 to Terry Wolkenhauer, and has two children from her first marriage:  Jeremy and wife Casey live in Williston where he works in the oil fields.  They have two small children, Kynzee and Rhypp. 
Teri Diane lives on a farm just a few miles from Laurel with her husband, Justin Nelson and their three little girls, Hannah, Abby, and Emma. 
 


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