Cassville club assists 2 families as they recover from illness –

CASSVILLE, Wis. Community members have rallied around two Cassville families whose lives have been impacted by debilitating diseases.

The Cassville chapter of Royal Neighbors of America, a philanthropic association that participates in difference maker initiatives, recently sponsored fundraisers for David Schauff and Tripp Rouse.

Group members Susan Kremer and Susan Bernhardt spearheaded the efforts, which garnered significant local attention.

We are always looking for something to do that can help out, Bernhardt said. We knew that there was a need. We come from a small town.

Schauff, 41, was diagnosed with POEMS syndrome last year and underwent chemotherapy as well as a stem cell transplant in November.

The syndrome is an incurable blood disorder that causes damage to nerves and organs. David, who still is recuperating, was unavailable for comment, but his wife, Karri, said he is not a quitter.

Simply receiving a diagnosis took the better part of a year, during which he struggled with his balance and experienced neuropathy in his feet and hands.

They do not know what caused it or anything, she said.

The family routinely visited UW Hospital and Clinics in Madison, and the medical bills accumulated.

Karri said the family was floored when they heard that the Royal Neighbors decided to raise money for them. They also received support from residents in Lancaster, where they own childrens clothing store Cruisin Kids.

We couldnt believe that people were thinking of us for starters, Karri said. It was amazing to know that with one call, I would have 20 people there wanting to help.

David hopes to return to his family farm, where he raises beef cattle, corn and beans. His three children, Dayton, Dylan and Kinsey, motivate him to keep pushing on, Karri said.

Elsewhere in Cassville, Tripp Rouse, 5, struggled to maintain his balance and coordination, a circumstance that concerned his mother, Donisha. After doctors ran several tests, they discovered that he had a benign tumor growing in his brain, a type known as pilocytic astrocytoma.

Tripp underwent surgery in July to remove it. The procedure left him temporarily paralyzed on his left side, and he had to undergo therapy to regain his mobility, a process that continues.

But the tumor grew back. A second surgery in November removed about 70% of the mass, but the remainder is too close to his brain stem to risk an additional operation.

He may need surgery again, Donisha said. He may need chemotherapy.

Tripp still is regaining the use of his limbs, but he thinks that he is back to normal and wants to roughhouse and argue with his five brothers, she said.

Tripp also is a huge fan of Spider-Man.

Because he shoots webs, Tripp said. He can climb walls.

Cassville club assists 2 families as they recover from illness -

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