Updated: 01/13/2014 5:49 PM
Created: 01/13/2014 5:39 PM WDIO.com
By: Laurie Stribling
For a girl who's been sick almost her whole life, Mara Krysiak had a strong spirit.
"Her mantra was, 'I got this'," family friend Stephanie Evans said. "She never felt like she wasn't going to beat this."
Krysiak was diagnosed in kindergarten with an inherited heart condition. Her body rejected the first heart transplant and she was left with a mechanical heart.
While waiting for a second transplant, Evans said she died Monday morning at hospital near Milwaukee. She said fluid filled Krysiak's lungs after a yeast infection in her blood.
While Krysiak dealt with the heart condition for years, she never let it keep her from being a kid. Evans described Krysiak as feisty.
"She always had a smile on her face," Evans said. "She loved to fish."
Krysiak's death comes just two days after a benefit was held in her name at Kom-On-Inn in Duluth.
"That turnout was unbelievable," Evans said. "We did not expect that many."
The support didn't stop there. When news of her death spread, there was an outpouring of love shared on the Team Mara Facebook page.
"You just don't realize how many people a small one can touch," Evans said. "We need to make sure we're there for her mom now."
Mara's mother, Heather, suffers from the same heart condition and is still recovering from her own heart transplant. A fight the two hoped to battle together.
"She and her mom were going to get their hearts and go and do those mother-daughter things they always wanted to do together," Evans said.
While it's too late for that, Evans hopes Krysiak's legacy lives on encouraging people to be organ donors.
Evans said no funeral plans have been set, but expects something to be held at St. Francis in Superior.
If you want to donate to the family, a fund is set up Superior Choice Credit Union.
Superior BID Meeting Unveils Plans for Future of Tower Ave
BID Executive Director Kaye Tenerlli says it's an opportunity to talk to business owners and politicians about what the organization has accomplished over the last year, and what they are planning for the future.
$200K Federal Grant Awarded to Kick-start Economy in I'Falls after Boise Layoffs
International Falls is getting federal help in the city's efforts to bounce back from last year's layoffs at the Boise Paper Mill. Rep. Rick Nolan (D-Minn.) says a $200,000 federal grant will kick-start the city's economic recovery. The grant comes from the US Economic Development Association, and will help local officials establish a strategy to recover from the layoffs that left more than 300 employees without work.
Call Center to Reopen in Eveleth Under New Ownership
The Eveleth telemarketing firm that closed earlier this month, taking more than 100 jobs with it, is reopening under a new owner. The company New Partners Consultants will operate a call center where Meyer Associates used to. According to the IRRRB, staffing will begin as early as next week.
Pine County Abuse Charges Have Other Survivors Speaking Out
The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests said neighbors in Pine County could have done more to help victims of sexual assault. Victor Barnard, the former leader of a Finlayson religious group, is charged with almost 60 crimes. He allegedly abused girls who were in what he called a "maidens group."
Some Northlanders Embrace April Snow Calling It 'Fun'
While this spring snowstorm has many people begging for warmer weather, believe it or not, some people aren't sick of it. We caught up with a few people embracing our April snow.