Rabies Survivor Gives Back
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
CREATED Dec. 1, 2012
Fond Du Lac-- The first person to survive a rabies infection without a vaccination is using her remarkable story of survival to help raise money for the "Make A Wish Foundation."
Jeanna Giese of Fond Du Lac nearly died 8 years ago from rabies. She got rabies in 2004 after being bitten by a bat she was trying to help at her church.
Giese was a multi-sport athlete before her battle with rabies. Saturday she did what many people doubted she would ever do again; compete in an athletic event. She's sled dog racing, inspired to help a charity that made her wish come true in 2006 while she was recovering from rabies.
"I was paralyzed, I was on death's door and now I come back and now I’m dog sledding, as long as you don't give up you can do anything, just keep trying and you can do anything you want,” Giese said.
The 9th annual Can't Depend on Snow Dog Sled Race has raised tens of thousands of dollars for the Make A Wish Foundation, including nearly $6,000 last year.
“Jeanna says he wants to raise $6500, as long as we can make a wish come true for a kid, I’m happy with that,” said race founder Mike Schwandt.
Giese said it’s an honor to help raise money for charity.
"Make A Wish Foundation is a great foundation, it helps so many families, so many kids, the fact that I get to give back to them is just amazing, it's a great feeling, “ she said.
The woman who made worldwide headlines says her story of survival can be an inspiration for everyone who's ever defied the odds.