To understand why Erik Hanson is being honored as one of Eleven Who Care, you first need to know about Adam Gulsvig.
In 1992, things were not going well for the six-year old boy. Adam's mother was fighting a life-threatening illness while trying to care for her three children. The single mom was especially concerned about Adam. She believed he needed someone to be a positive male role model for her son.
During this same time, Erik Hanson was trying to overcome problems of his own. The 19-year old was going through alcohol treatment. As part of his recovery, Erik wanted to help others from making the same mistakes he'd made.
These two stories come together at Trinity Lutheran Church in Stillwater. A pastor there introduced Erik to Adam. The match was heaven sent --- for both young men. Since that meeting more than seven years ago, the two hunt and fish. They play catch and attend movies together. They tackle woodworking projects. Sometimes they just sit and read.
Today, Adam is a well-adjusted teenager. Erik has been sober for more than seven years. He's proof that by helping others, you can help yourself too.
Make A Wish Foundation and
The Ronald McDonald House