Wauwatosa family helping others battling Leukemia

Posted at 8:22 PM, Jun 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-23 21:22:44-04

When a child battles a life-threatening disease a family often goes into a tailspin. But a Wauwatosa family has found comfort through the help of others. Six-year-old Elizabeth Handrich is a typical little girl who loves dolls. But for the past two years she's been undergoing treatment for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, or ALL.

Elizabeth's mom Martha Handrich felt hopeless when her child was diagnosed.

"All you want to do is cry. All you want to do is have your angry moments and sad moments,” Martha said. “You get to have those but you have to say I have to support her through her angry moments and sad nights."

But there's an upside. Mom says Elizabeth has between a 93 and 96 percent chance of being cured.

"The good news is the prognosis can be promising," she said.

Elizabeth wants to be a doctor when she grows up. Her older sister Rachel explains why.

"I think she's experienced a visit with the doctor so much that she was and the doctor so much she would like to help kids that are injured and are sick," Rachel said.

The family is grateful for support from the community, Children's Hospital and Martha's employer.

Handrich is a senior human resource manager for Marcus Hotels and Resorts.

"Marcus Corporation and Marcus Hotels and Resorts have been phenomenal through's how are you how can I help you," Martha said.

The company hosted several fundraisers and event that helped Martha become "Woman of the Year" for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She raised a whopping $89,000 to help find a cure for ALL.

"We think that can happen in our lifetime..and that is what we contributed to with our fundraising campaign so we're very excited!” Martha said.

Martha says she and her husband realize there are those with no support through similar challenges. They plan to give back by staying active with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and the MACC Fund.

Martha has learned to be flexible through her second born's illness. As for certain house rules?

"Oh you have to throw it out the window and go relax," she admits.

The busy mom takes life moment by moment.

"You can't fix it. You have to love through it," Martha said.

Her favorite saying to get through it all? "As we weather the storm we learn to dance in the rain."