Negaunee family grateful for help following cancer treatment
NEGAUNEE, MI – If you have been in the high school or community theater circles in and around Negaunee, you know the Wiig family. Steve and Emmye Wiig have been a staple in the community since they got married in 2010.
But as everyone knows, a cancer diagnosis can be devastating. And, to say that it changed things for the Wiigs is a gross understatement.
Steve was diagnosed with testicular cancer at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. It added complications, to the Wiig’s already complex life.
“Our oldest son is autistic, and I have had to step back from a lot of the things that I do to assist with his needs and his care and the family’s needs that go along with that.” Emmye said. “Because the thing that you don’t think about, nor would you unless you are living it, is when your child is autisitic or disabled, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you qualify for insurance from the state or financial assistance at home of any kind.”
Because of their son’s condition, Steve is the breadwinner while Emmye stays home with their two boys.
Fastforward to that cancer diagnosis. Steve underwent surgery at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor in 2021. He has been closely monitored since that time.
But then, early this year, Steve’s cancer returned – Stage 2. He went through three months of chemotherapy, which ended last month.
U of M was able to work with U.P. Health Systems-Marquette to administer the treatment here in the U.P. So the Wiig’s did not have to travel far for treatment.
He is recovering, but will have some long-term side effects, including hearing loss.
The Wiig’s, who spent more than a decade giving back to the community, have been navigating the unfamiliar territory of asking for help for the last 18 months.
Between their substantial deductible and traveling back and forth from Marquette to Negaunee, what was barely manageable has become daunting.
That’s why their friends started a GoFundMe for the family to help them catch up on the medical bills that just keep coming.
Emmye said her family is especially grateful that the local non-profit Cancer Care of Marquette County. The organization helped to pay for Steve’s surgery and some travel expenses in 2021.
They are grateful for the boy’s grandparents, and other family, friends and coworkers who all stepped up while Steve was undergoing chemotherapy.
“Steve has received so many cards and texts.. just an outpouring of support,” Emmye said. “That’s just as, if not more important, than being able to catch up financially. Knowing that people care about you, and that they have taken time out of their day to tell you that, is extremely special.”
The family expects to find out the results of Steve’s chemotherapy at the end of this month. He said he is grateful for all the support he has been given, but there is one thing he wants more than anything.
“I want to see my kids grow up and work backwards from that,” Steve said. “Yeah, anything else and I would feel greedy. I just want to see my kids grow up.”
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