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Bob Lind, Published September 08 2013

Neighbors: Merickel's walk for a miracle

Talk about family togetherness. Here’s an example of it being demonstrated in a big way.

It’s about the members of the Merickel family – nine sisters and their mother – formerly of Wadena, Minn.

Some years ago, one of the sisters, Polly, of San Diego, developed breast cancer. Happily, she came out of it fine. But of course it left a cure for that disease, and those who have it, “near and dear to her heart and conscience,” according to her sister, Debby Merickel, of Oak Harbor, Wash.

Well, about six years ago, a walk was held in San Diego to raise money for breast cancer research. So, Polly enlisted all of her sisters to participate. Their mother, too.

“She (Polly) promised the others,” Debby says, “that if they came, it would be an unforgettable weekend with a plethora of dividends ... and sore feet.”

Here are the sisters, with their current ages and cities of residence:

Debby, 65, Oak Harbor; Kathy Moreno, 64, Berkeley, Calif.; Sally Maxwell, 62, San Diego; Teri Merickel, 61, San Diego; Melissa Merickel, 59, Oak Harbor; Peggy Merickel, 58, Fargo; Polly, 58, San Diego; MaryJo Merickel, 51, Eden Prairie, Minn.; and Maggie Merickel, 49, San Diego.

And yes, their mom walked, too. She’s MaryLou Merickel, of Oak Harbor. And she’s now 92.

One of the women’s brothers, Casey Merickel, came all the way from Miami to offer moral support and coaching.

All together, the family raised more than $22,000.

“As it turned out,” Debby says, “the actual walk was more challenging than raising the money, especially considering our mother could only walk assisted by a walker, and three sisters have since had knee surgeries.

“It was a weekend worth remembering, as the stories told by other participants, the support provided by numerous individuals and the camaraderie of the family proved invaluable.”

So, three cheers for the Merickels, and all those engaged in any way in the ongoing fight against breast cancer.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors,

The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to 241-5487; or email blind@forumcomm.com