Community Giving

Stacy Erholtz

Fund Name:: Let's Go Viral
Fund Established: July 2014
Community Foundation(s): Brainerd Lakes Area

Since June 5, 2013, Stacy Erholtz has been a medical miracle, and now she’s paying it forward with a new fund at the Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation.

In May 2004, Stacy learned she had cancer. Doctors at Essentia Health in Brainerd diagnosed Stacy with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the blood plasma residing in bone marrow, as well as a rare protein disorder called amyloidosis.

After undergoing a series of treatments, including two stem cell transplants, Stacy asked doctors at the Mayo Clinic if she could participate in a measles trial that she and her husband, Mike, had learned about on a news program. On June 5, 2013, Stacy became the second person in the world to receive a massive infusion of the live measles virus. In a half-hour sitting, 100 billion live measles cells went into her bloodstream—enough to vaccinate 10 million people.

Her body succumbed to the virus and she blacked out until the following day when she awoke, fever and pain free. For several weeks to follow, she was poked and prodded. Test results, analyzed by a number of doctors, researchers and scientists, confirmed a breakthrough: Stacy was cancer free.

Since Stacy’s story went viral in the media, she has received international notoriety. Now, a number of people are waiting to have a similar procedure done.

Today, Stacy is working to expedite the production of the measles virus so others may experience the same miracle of medicine. In June 2014, Stacy started a fund with the Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation to serve as a catalyst to raise necessary funds to remove the bottleneck that exists in manufacturing the treatment.

“This could potentially be the cure to cancer. And it’s not just about me,” she said. “If we can start treating cancer with measles, let’s do it and remove all barriers in the process. I want a whole community of friends who have experienced what I have.”

Watch this amazing video from Mayo Clinic about Stacy's journey.