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Rough road ends happily

Crystal and Steve Rohde with daughter Whitney.

Steve and Crystal Rohde mustered strength and courage during the months since July, when their daughter Whitney came into the world 10 weeks premature with a rare condition in which her esophagus and stomach were not connected.

Whitney weighed two pounds at birth, received nourishment through a tube and has undergone five surgeries.

Late last week, the parents expected their baby's release from the hospital to a nearby Ronald McDonald house.

Steve grew up in River Falls and graduated high school here. Loved ones plan a Jan. 24 benefit at Kilkarney Hills Golf Course to help the couple, who now lives near Spooner. The event includes an Italian buffet dinner, music, an auction and dancing.

Read the Rohde's story and get details about the benefit in the Jan. 15 print edition of the River Falls Journal. Contact the Rohde's close friend Brad Graetz for specific information about the fundraising event: bgraetz@sbcglobal.net.

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