Revisiting the Greschner family - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Revisiting the Greschner family

CLARK COUNTY (WAOW)--As 2010 draws to a close we look back at the year and the stories that touched our hearts. A story that touched many people in Northcentral Wisconsin is that of the Greschners. The Owen family had a rough 2010, dealt a double dose of tragedy.

Tom and Cheri's teenage daughter Hailey was diagnosed with inoperable, incurable brain cancer. But while she bravely fought the disease, the family's dairy barn and livelihood, went up in smoke.     

Sadly Hailey lost her battle just a few weeks after we met the Greschners.

When we first sat down with the Greschners nine months ago Hailey's bed was the centerpiece of the family living room. As we meet again, the bed is gone, replaced with a couch.

Hailey, gone as well. "Sometimes I still don't believe it. Sometimes I'll think to myself, we'll just get Hailey to help us and then it's like; no, we won't. She's not here anymore."

Hailey died in March after a long struggle with brain cancer. Just a few months after cancer became a common family word, so did fire. The Greschners, dairy farmers, lost their milking abilities when a massive blaze took their barn.

Newsline 9 shared the Greschners' story just before a benefit was held to help them bear the financial burden. That benefit raised thousands of dollars. The Greschners-- forever grateful. "They really showed their generosity and being so giving.  We were very appreciative of everything everyone did and their well wishes and cards from complete strangers.  It was really touching."

They call Hailey a pillar of strength, the one who did most of the comforting in the wake of tragedy. "The night before she passed, I was upset.  She said, ‘Don't worry, Dad. It will be okay.'  The next morning I came out and she was asleep forever.  It was hard to be comforted by someone who was that ill.  But she was a tower.  She was awesome. We're both in awe that she was out daughter because she was so strong."

While Hailey has been gone a while now, her parents say they're just now feeling her absence, feeling their grief. "It's lonely. We miss her. We miss her a lot. It's a new routine, a new beginning that we have to get used to. She was the center of our world before. Now, we have to go on. It's different. It's totally different."

And it's their faith that pushes them into a new year. "Everything can be taken away from you in life but your hope. We still have that."

As for their dairy barn, the Greschners are still working to save enough money to re-build. They're milking in a neighbor's barn.

Powered by Frankly