Niles, Mich. A Niles woman achieved her dream of visiting Alaska – less than a year after she underwent surgery to amputate the lower part of her left leg.
Marcia Rentfrow suffered a very bad ankle break two years ago and was left with a difficult decision.
“We talked to the podiatrist and I was pretty much out of options,” Rentfrow said. “It was either be in a wheel chair the rest of my life or have an amputation and get into a prosthetic.”
Marcia and her husband Tom opted for the surgery and began the long road to recovery. In order to give herself the motivation to continue the difficult physical therapy, Marcia made the goal to visit Alaska once she was able to walk again.
“I had to have a goal at that point because I lost my foot, you know. You just can't think about that,” she said. “You have to think about what you're going to do and just live the best we can. So that was the goal.”
Rentfrow’s sister-in-law gave her an Alaska-inspired sock for inspiration.
“I just looked at that and thought you have to work hard. You have to work hard when that happened to you,” she said. “So I did my exercises and I got strong.”
Kent Kaiser, an Alaskan Quest tour guide, reached out to Marcia and helped facilitate a trip that would meet her mobility needs once she was recovered.
“And Kent promised were gonna go, we're gonna do it no matter how we have to take you,” she said. “Even if I had to go in a wheelchair we were still going to do it.”
Tom Rentfrow turned to his faith during his wife’s recovery.
“Because of the problems we've had in the last couple year,s all the set backs we had we were never sure if it was going to happen or not,” he said. “But we just had to put everything in the faith of God that it was going to work. And it worked. He was there for us. And he helped us get through the difficult times.”
The pair left for a 12-day trip on August 20 and returned September 3 with happy hearts and a lifetime worth of happy memories.