Foster mother relearns to walk with granddaughter - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

Austin foster mother relearns to walk with granddaughter


AUSTIN, Minn. (FOX 47) -- Marsha Pawluk used to walk around her home with ease, caring for her children, grandchildren, and hundreds of foster children for 40 years.

"We had some good times, I would never go to another job," said Pawluk. "I wouldn't dream of doing anything else."

All of it was taken away as fast as one quick step.

"I just have no strength to stand up at all, nothing, there was nothing there," explained Pawluk.

Emergency spinal surgery in 2013 caused Pawluk to temporarily lose her ability to walk, her foster children, and her hope.

"For the first seven days I wouldn't talk to anybody," recounted Pawluk. "I was very depressed."

Lucky for Pawluk, that's when a remarkable 11-year-old girl came in and changed everything.

"We would see each other now and then because I didn't really have enough time, but when she started doing that I thought to myself, but I need to treasure my time that I have with her," said Pawluk's granddaughter Hannah Finney.

They set out together training her body, and her mind.

"She would call me, or come every day right after you get out of school and she would say come on grandma let's go we can go in there. I'll help you," explained Pawluk.

Together they took one small step for Pawluk, but a big step in their relationship.

"I'm very close with her because she's done a lot for me. She would lay next to me and tell me, "Its OK, grandma, everything will be fine," Pawluk said.

"Well I felt it was important to keep her happy and to keep her not thinking about what's actually happening to her, and to keep her mind off happy things and not bad things," explained Finney.

Pawluk can walk with a cane now, but in the end it's the simple things in life that are easy to take for granted.

Pawluk's husband has since taken over her foster care duties.  A fundraiser will be held to say, "thank you," for all she has done for the community. It is on Saturday, April 5, at the Eagles Center in Austin from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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