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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Events seek to help injured teacher

  • On Dec. 20, a three-car accident sent Mija Stockman, a physical education instructor at Roosevelt Elementary School and resident of Lindsborg, into a coma from which she has yet to wake up.
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  • On Dec. 20, a three-car accident sent Mija Stockman, a physical education instructor at Roosevelt Elementary School and resident of Lindsborg, into a coma from which she has yet to wake up.
    However, the community has rallied around her and her family in their time of need.
    Messiah Lutheran Church in Lindsborg will host Crop 4 Mija, a craft event, on Saturday, and on Feb. 9, Smoky Valley High School will host "Show the Love Sale," an auction. These events will raise money to help cover the family's medical costs.
    Several businesses also have agreed to help raise money for the family. A full list of events can be found at www.smilesformija.com as well as updates on Stockman's condition.
    For Stockman's family, the support has been overwhelming.
    "It amazes me every time I go to the Facebook page and see even new likes. This means there is at least one more person thinking of Mija or praying for her," said Maori Courter, Stockman's sister. "We as a family are completely overwhelmed by the response of everyone to help out. There are so many people involved in helping out that we don't even know how we're going to thank them."
    Courter said Stockman is doing better. She said doctors are working to help Stockman breathe normally, swallow and, eventually, begin eating.
    "She has a lot of instinctive movements but nothing purposeful yet," Courter said. "We're hoping soon though she will progress to that point and soon wake up. She has come so far since the accident, and she's nowhere near where she will hopefully be one day."
    Amanda Otto, who has been organizing the Crop 4 Mija event, said it's important for family members to focus on Stockman right now instead of financial obligations, and the community can help them do that.
    "When a tragedy like this happens, the last thing you want the family to worry about is finances," Otto said. "If we can help lessen the burden of medical bills and travel expenses, then we put forth our best effort and go for it."
    Margo Lysell, Stockman's cousin and coordinator for the "Show the Love Sale," said she appreciates the generosity of people and businesses both within and without McPherson County.
    "I have received tons of emails asking how to donate to it and have busy hands working in McPherson, Salina, and of course Lindsborg," Lysell said. "People from all over the state of Kansas and even some out of state have already sent in donations that will all go 100 percent to the family."
    Lysell said she hopes the community continues to support Stockman and her family.
    "None of these events will work without all of the communities coming out to support them, so I hope they do," Lysell said.
    Page 2 of 2 - Otto said helping Stockman has helped her see the good things in her own life.
    "I think we take for granted our health, family and all of our blessings in life," Otto said. "Sometimes we need to step back and appreciate what we have. You never know when your world will be turned upside down."
    To learn more about fundraising events or to RSVP, visit www.smilesformija.com.

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