The WSC was established in 2000 by Ginny McCullough, with the help of her two friends Nancy Angelini and Pat Yarmulnik. The story of Ginny’s life leading up to the creation of the WSC is amazing. Ginny grew up in a family of seventeen children. Upon graduating from Marquette University in 1986 with a BSN, RN , Ginny settled in the Milwaukee area with her husband Tom (MU BA in ’83 and ’85 MS). They welcomed the first of their six children shortly thereafter.

Unfortunately, Leo had a stroke at birth and was diagnosed with epilepsy. After years of physical, occupational, and speech therapy, years of a cocktail of ineffective medications with horrific side effects, his life was jeopardized daily. When Leo was 12 years old, brain surgery which ultimately removed the right half of Leo’s brain was the only possible cure. With fear and trepidation, the decision to agree to the surgery was agonizing. It could leave Leo paralyzed on his left side with no guarantee that the seizures would be gone forever. Many who have epilepsy are not candidates for surgery. Leo was lucky but was presented with a double-edged sword. There would be a high price to pay.

As the anxiety grew from the impending surgery, Ginny needed to destress. Her husband, Tom, who played soccer all his life, suggested that she play soccer so she could kick something. Ginny soon found out that the opportunities for women were limited, especially if they had little or no experience as she had never played soccer in her life and was 37 years old. It was then that with the help of a couple of friends that the WSC was formed.

Since then, the club has grown exponentially since its small beginnings of 19 friends – members who got involved to help Ginny out. It made a HUGE difference in her ability to cope with her stress. It became not only her stress release, her treadmill, her support system, her therapy sessions out on the field but also she met MANY wonderful new friends, became more confident and more physically fit. Even though Leo has lost his left peripheral vision, has limited mobility in his left hand and loss of short-term memory, Leo is courageous, kind and a bright young man. He continues to relearn much that we take for granted. If it weren’t for Leo and the nightmare of epilepsy, Ginny would not have needed to seek stress relief, and the WSC would not exist.

Leo McCullough (age 18)