If you would like to have your loved one added to our memory page or to honor a survivor, please contact us at 262.305.1370 or send us mail at: Ann’s Hope Foundation
P.O. Box 376
Hartland WI 53029.
Steve Bjerke was a wonderful man who went out of his way to help others and always had a ready smile. He enjoyed trains, electronics, computers and the outdoors. His favorite pastime was spending time with his family and friends. He was a kid at heart and loved playing with his two sons, Collin and Carson. Steve was diagnosed with melanoma in September when a birthmark that he had always had on his right flank started to change in appearance. He underwent eight surgeries, Gammaknife for a brain met, and numerous other harsh treatments. Through all of the treatments Steve continued to work as a warehouse manager at Reiss Industries in Watertown.
In January he found out that the melanoma had become much more advanced and had taken over 80 percent of his liver and that there were no available treatments without risking damaging the remaining part of his liver. Even after this diagnosis, he continued to go to work for two hours a day. He never complained and he never gave up hope. On March 19, 2007, at the age of 38, Steve lost his battle with melanoma. He had made it to a benefit in his honor on March 17th where hundreds of people attended to pay tribute to him. He will be greatly missed by his wife, children, family and friends.
Written by Sara Bjerke
Eric Peterson loved people and loved life. Whatever he did appeared to be his favorite thing to be doing. His family was the most important thing in his life, especially his daughter Erin and his son Jesse. He loved music. There was always a guitar within his reach. Whether he played with a group or alone, music seemed his very soul. He bought the Harley he’d always dreamed of and riding with friends was a declaration of personal triumph and his free spirit. Skiing, too, was a must-do event for Eric that he did for one weekend each year with special friends.
Eric took great pride in his work as an electrician and many of his clients became close friends to him. In everything he loved to do, he was surrounded by people who shared his life through that interest. The bands he played with and the people he entertained, the friends he rode bikes with and the people he skied with were all people he came to love. He had friends he’d known for years and years and intimate friends he’d known for only months. If a friend needed something, anything, Rick was there for them. It certainly was not impossible for Rick to anger a person. But the anger was always shallow and soon forgotten because of his magnificent sense of humor.
By the time we realized the nature of Eric’s melanoma, he had limited time left with us. The cancer, chemo, steroids all altered him quickly and it was difficult for him to loose the strength and muscle tone he was so proud of. Yet he still used his wonderful sense of humor to get through the hardest days of his life. He heard a story where someone suffering from cancer was stung by a bee and the venom of the bee cured the cancer. He was determined to put the “bee theory” to work in his favor. He promised us that when summer came we would see a naked body covered with honey streaking into the woods. He did not give up hope of beating the cancer to the end and scolded anyone who he sensed had given up. Unfortunately he did not live to test his “bee theory” so we need to find a better cure for others who are suffering from melanoma.
Written by Juanita
This memorial is in honor of Eric Peterson. Not only was he a great father, he was also a great son, brother and friend. He began his battle in early spring of 2005 and was diagnosed with stage IV melanoma in November 2005. He fought a vigorous battle until April 17, 2006. He was 40 years old. He graduated from Muskego High School in 1983. Eric loved playing his guitar and he was an amazing musician. Throughout his life he played with many bands in the Milwaukee area and he knew how to rock ‘n roll. He also enjoyed riding his Harley, which was one of his true loves. He loved playing sports, basketball, softball, cross-country and volleyball, to name a few. He lived in Wisconsin his whole life, so without a doubt, he was a huge Packer fan. Eric loved his job; he was an electrician for most of his life and was a member of Electrical Union.
Even though his life was short, he took advantage of it and made sure he was always having a good time with the people around him. He had an outrageously funny sense of humor and always knew how to make people laugh and feel better. He was a very friendly and outgoing man, which is the main reason he had so many friends. It was hard for all of us to see him go because he was such an influence on so many peoples’ lives. Eric is deeply missed by everyone, especially by his children, Erin and Jesse. He will never be forgotten. WE LOVE YOU DAD! You Lived Life By The Drop!
Written by Erin Peterson
Stephen, age 62, lost his battle with melanoma on October 13, 2006. He was a beloved husband, father and grandfather. His passions were the welfare of children and the Wisconsin Badgers. Stephen was a resident of Madison, and received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. An avid golfer, Stephen loved spending time with family and friends.
Stephen had a tumor removed under his left arm in October 2005. He then underwent six weeks of radiation and a month of Interferon. The melanoma spread to his lungs, and he then went though three cycles of chemotherapy. The cancer continued to spread and sadly his battle with melanoma ended at the Ellen & Peter Johnson Hospice Care Residence of Dane County. Stephen is deeply missed.
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