Give Tracie A Leg Up

Tracie is a hard-working single mother who cares passionately about helping people. A few of her favorite things include watching her son play trumpet in marching band, teaching, tutoring, spending time with friends, and enjoying a cold beer. She’s a caring and trusted friend, a dedicated teacher, and someone I feel fortunate to know.

On Friday, March 13, 1998 Tracie got into a car accident that immeasurably impacted her life. At the time of the accident, she was teaching at the Department of Corrections Southern Oaks Girls School, working a second job at SuperSavers grocery store, and going to school to earn her special education degree. The results of the car accident were devastating. She had broken her right ulna, pelvis, sacrum, and L5 vertebrae. Most of her teeth were shattered and glass from the car was embedded in parts of her face. The biggest injury was that she could not feel her left leg. At the time, the doctors did not know if it was permanent; but after years of therapy and repeated visits with medical professionals, Tracie never regained feeling in her leg.

She managed with crutches, braces, and eventually a wheelchair, but there were always problems with cuts, leg and foot sores from pressure from the brace and cellulitis (skin infections). Tracie had no idea that paralysis had such secondary issues. She spent hours at the doctor getting antibiotics. The sores and infections became so severe that her left pinky toe was amputated.

In 2011, travel for her job took a major toll on the bottom of her foot.  A pressure ulcer developed from the foot lying on the floor of the car for hours of driving. By 2016, the cost for wound care supplies, seeing healthcare professionals at least two times a month, and the 30-40 minutes it took for wound care every morning and night had taken their toll on Tracie. She made the very difficult decision to explore voluntary amputation. Tracie argued that amputating her leg would improve the quality of her life; she believed that it would increase her mobility and would help her continue to lose weight. A date was set for August, after the Sound of Sun Prairie (SOSP) season.

On Mother’s Day 2017, Tracie had no energy to move, and she knew something was wrong. She was admitted to UW hospital. The wraps on top of her foot caused a serious wound. A missing leg rest on her wheelchair caused an additional wound on the back of her thigh. Both wounds had become terribly infected. Her amputation surgery was moved up to June 21, 2017.

We are hopeful that once Tracie is healed, she will qualify for a computerized prosthetic leg. Unfortunately, they are expensive and not covered by insurance. The cost is between $50,000 – $70,000. A computerized prosthetic leg would be a life-changer that would provide Tracie freedom, mobility, and an improved quality of life.

Your help will make a huge difference.

We are calling on the generosity of family, friends, neighbors and strangers to help us Give Tracie a Leg Up.

The money raised will be used towards a computerized prosthetic, other needed medical supplies, and/or medical bills.

Tracie is extremely grateful to all the friends and family who have been supportive throughout this process.

Thank you all so much!


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  • Holly Audley 
    • $200 
    • 37 mos
  • DAN Prueher 
    • $20 
    • 37 mos
  • Diane Ruether 
    • $50 
    • 37 mos
  • Kenny & Bobbi MacMillan 
    • $100 
    • 37 mos
  • Teresa Forseth 
    • $100 
    • 37 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Mandy Henning Stib 
Madison, WI
Tracie Ruether 
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