Erin and Karla: A Daughter and Mother Journey toward Health and Achieving Goals


Erin was spending at least 1 week a month in the hospital when she enrolled in Promise in March of 2016. Then a 15-year-old high school freshman, Erin had significant pancreatic insufficient cystic fibrosis with severe lung disease and wasn’t able to go to school regularly. In August of 2016 her doctor told her and her family that she was in the end stage of cystic fibrosis and had only 1 to 2 years before her lungs stopped working completely.

A Journey of Hope

Erin and her family didn’t accept this news sitting down. In October, she and her Mom, Karla, travelled to St. Louis where Erin was evaluated by a pediatric transplant team. They learned she was a viable lung transplant candidate and they made a plan for Erin and her mom to move to St. Louis to wait for her new lungs.

Benefiting from Promise Services – Remotely!

Karla was worried that Erin’s Promise services would end if they moved to St. Louis.  Amy, their Promise Counselor, assured them that not only would their file remain open, but they could be provided services remotely.  Erin and Karla moved to St. Louis in November, where Erin completed Promise’s online health and wellness and self-advocacy trainings. Karla also benefitted from Promise services.  Both Erin and Karla completed the financial capability training, and Karla participated in work incentive benefits counseling during their time away.  Karla plans to open a Promise matched savings account to save money to buy a car!

Incredible Physical and Emotional Changes

In February Erin underwent a successful lung transplant and in April she and her mom were able to move back home to Green Bay! Before Erin’s lung transplant, she had difficulty walking into her Promise Counselor’s office. She was tired and short of breath during meetings. She was interested in participating in Promise services, but often was physically unable to do so.

Her physical and emotional changes since her transplant are incredible. She enjoys talking with people and is excited about moving ahead with her educational and career goals. She attends school regularly and asked to job shadow to learn more about her career options. She plans to get her driver’s license!

Excited about the Future, with Promise

Erin and her family were able to continue working toward their educational and career goals while taking care of their health and personal needs, because of Promise’s flexibility in providing services. They are working hard and excited about their futures, and Wisconsin Promise is honored to be a part of their journey.

Erin is a youth with Promise!