"They don't know how long I'm going to be with you, if I'm going on borrowed time or whatever," Marie Flechner said as she sat down with friends and family at a benefit in her honor Sunday.
The benefit was held at Norma's 2 in Tomahawk, owned by a friend of the family. Flechner found out she had the West Nile virus on September 15, 2002.
"I figured it was a cold," Flechner said. "Basically before I was diagnosed, I had weakness and headaches."
"There's not a day goes by I don't have a headache," said Flechner about how her life has changed since she became ill. "I have a headache 24/7 now."
Flechner says one of the hardest things about having the disease is that she has depended on other people every day now to perform ordinary tasks. But she's grateful beyond words for the people in the community, like those who contributed to the benefit Sunday, who have come out to support her.
The money raised at the benefit will go towards paying her debts and buying medical equipment she needs to use.