Tammy Kartstetter says before the accident that left her with a brain injury, her life was like a dream.
In 2004 that all changed.
Tammy says she was fortunate to be healthy and mobile when her six year old son was diagnosed with cancer. Today, he is cancer free and that is what keeps Tammy going.
"Sometimes it don't hurt to try hard and fight for what you want," said Tammy.
During her son's treatment Tammy stayed at the Ronald McDonald house. The charity provided Tammy affordable nights in the house near the hospital. To repay them, she is collecting pop tabs which the Ronald McDonald house trades in for money.
Ashley Barnes works at the group home as a Direct Support Professional. She said Tammy teaches her more about gratitude every day.
"Some of our biggest mountains are merely mole hills to her," said Barnes.
Tammy has captured the hearts of all who know her, especially Program Director Shawn Fish.
"I think anybody who hears her story sees that she is not only a lady that had a traumatic brain injury following an accident first and foremost she's a caregiver, a mother, a Certified Nursing Assistant...something she's so proud of and she has a human spirit that we can all be envious of. She doesn't think the world owes her anything. She just takes what the world gives her and makes the best of it," said Fish.
To donate pop tops to Tammy for the Ronald McDonald House:
By mail: REM WI
206 Shird Court
La Farge, WI 54639
c/o Tammy Karstetter
Pick Up: 608-625-2453
Program Director, Shawn Fish
Shawn is in La Crosse every week and can be reached to schedule pickup.