Pray for Katie

Katie is 13 years old and was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease, a lymphatic cancer. This site is a request to pray for her. Call her prayer pager 1-361-333-KATY (5289), enter your ZipCode and # key, to let her know you have prayed for her. Updates of her progress will be posted on the site. The Power of Prayer is Awesome.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Help Save Katie Wernecke and Your Kids

Are your kids next?

An Open Letter From Michele Wernecke mother of Katie Wernecke

My life had ended the day CPS took my children and kept my precious daughter Katie. She did no harm to any one. She belongs to me not them {CPS}. All I wanted was for my daughter to be happy and healthy again. I accepted her having cancer, that is not a problem with us. I feel right now that when they are done with her, she will never be the same and never trust a soul again. I want to let you guys know that I love her very much and I miss her a lot. What I don’t understand is how they can do this to her and her family. She needs us and we need her for our family to be complete. Stella Klein (CPS) thinks it so easily just to go and see her so far away. The state pays her expenses and no one pays for ours. They lied to us all the way. I was told by Kim Garcia (CPS) that she would be in Corpus Christi to receive her treatments, she would stay with a LVN nurse in her home. When they took her they put her in Skidmore! She is now somewhere in the Houston area.

My daughter is very homesick right now. She is in a house with 11 kids and she has to share her room with 2 of them. If she was here, she has her own room. That is another thing that gets me, is that in CPS’s eyes that Kim had asked us is Katie in her own room, because I have 3 boys and 1 girl, now she doesn’t even have her own room. Once again its okay for CPS and not for us. Why are rules always different for everybody else and not for us. I try my best and it is never good enough.

I know I was brought up the right way. I helped my mom take care of 6 younger kids. I went out of my way to help and take care of things. My parents could count on me. I’m very responsible for everything. But you know I never had anyone look down on me, because I did it all. Now I’m told I can’t make decisions for my own daughter, and my daughter can’t even count on her mom anymore because CPS says so. I can’t even move or take steps without someone looking down your neck anymore.

They don’t know my daughter like I do. They can’t help her with her things like I do. My daughter needs a lot of love and support to get thru this. CPS can’t do it. All they do is force the treatments on her. They never explain things to her. Who takes away my pain that I feel everyday that Katie is not in our home. Who listens to Katie’s voice and hears in her voice how home sick she is. They don’t care at all. They just think they are doing the right thing for her.

Parents think this couldn't happen to them. My house was as neat and clean as anyone else's that has 4 kids and works 2 jobs. Cancer is now happening to 1 in 3 and has surpassed heart disease as the number 1 killer. We never thought of our child getting cancer. We thought we would never need cancer insurance as we lead a healthy life style and didn't have a history of cancer in our family. Doctors, clinics, and emergency rooms are waiting to report your family to CPS if you show up there with a kid with an injury, bruise, cut, burn, etc., most of which are just ordinary common accidents kids might incur. Schools and teachers report suspect child abuse to CPS. Your hospital has social workers who spy on you and report to CPS. Like in our case. And you thought the social worker was there to help you and your child through your illness. CPS questions your kids at school without your knowledge or permission. Soon the federal government will use a short questionnaire to screen your school age child and will force you to place your child on mind altering drugs and enforce it with CPS.

This case sends a message to parents that you can't even question your doctor. Everyone should have a right to a second opinion or a third opinion. Believe me these doctors never told us or explained nothing except what they were going to do with Katie. They didn't discuss side effects or treatment options or alternatives. Patient rights are a joke both at Driscoll's Children's Hospital and at M. D. Anderson. They use our kids in cancer experiments. Parents have no say or choice in the treatments done on our kids. Believe me we just wanted the best treatment for our daughter Katie. Dr. Alter reported us to CPS just 2 days after the second opinion by a doctor in the same hospital and they didn't even agree on the treatment. CPS didn't wait, or try to talk to us about it. We weren't included in an emergency hearing in front of the judge even though we had a lawyer and CPS knew it. The next thing we knew they were knocking on our door to take Katie. Couldn't get her immediately, so they take the rest of my kids. No reason at all for this. My kids were abused in their care, both physically and mentally. Judge Lewis wonders why I ran off with Katie. Why indeed, the judge signed that emergency order, without hearing our side of the issue. Who was left to protect Katie and her rights? The court appointed lawyer for Katie never took Katie's position, siding with CPS. Where was their proof this was an emergency and needed to be done right away? They didn't do any treatments on Katie for 40 days after they had her. In fact Katie was very healthy at the time they took her and had no signs of cancer in her body. She had to be at risk of dying without this emergency treatment in the next 10 days for the Judge to approve the court order to take her. The doctor and CPS lied for the Judge to approve the court order to take her.

I am just one person trying to fight the whole system. Our daughter is now under a treatment plan at M D Anderson that will take at least 6 months. And Katie was already out of our home for 2 months now. So she has over 5 months to go if there are no complications. This is so wrong. This is too much to ask of any child to be separated from their parents and brothers and friends. I am torn on one hand because I don't want to speak out and lose my visitation rights to be in the hospital with Katie. They have refused to let my husband, Edward, stay in the hospital with Katie over night for no real reason. Katie's brothers haven't seen her in about 2 months now. It is financially prohibitive to spend $1250 to fly everyone to Houston to visit Katie for 1 or 2 hours. They won’t give us a plan.

We had done everything responsible parents should have done. We researched the options, addressed the risks to our daughter Katie, and proceeded with caution in order to protect her. No treatment option is set in stone. That Katie and our family had to face the gravity of such an illness is painful enough. For CPS to take a child in such circumstances away from them is egregious beyond words. The arrogance and ignorance with which this CPS agency has intruded upon our loving family has done nothing to enhance or protect the health of Katie. It is in fact compromised. The removal of 90% of the Thymus gland is going to be very detrimental to Katie’s recovery.

I need your help and I am not sure what would be the most effective way to fight the system. Child protective Services was created with the best of intentions, but it has no system of checks and balances. It is not comprised of medical experts. Workers only need 90 days of training and most have never even been parents themselves. There is no avenue for parental appeal. This is wrong. The result is that the protection has actually become abuse. CPS is an agency out of control and the South Texas area is the worst in the state. Now they are adding 800 workers to the agency and increased the budget greatly. CPS taking kids are up nearly 42% this year in the Corpus Christi area just to justify the increase in workers and budget. Less then 10% of the cases are true abuse situations. Are your kids next? Believe me this can and will and has happened to many other innocent families. Will you be next? We need parents to stand up and say this is wrong.

Nobody has really written the Judge in this case and please don't tell him I said to write him but his address is: Judge Carl Lewis, County Court of Law #5, Nueces County, 2310 Golihar Rd, Corpus Christi, Texas 78415 .

It would help to let him know that we are good, caring, loving parents and how other people and parents feel about this situation. Katie needs to be returned to our care. She can not survive these treatments alone. Parents have the right to make the medical decisions for their children. The state should only step in when the parents are proven to be unfit or abandon the child.

We need the public behind us. In a similar Utah case, people were behind the parents and the people put pressure on the state to drop the case. We need that here. Please help us. We can't do this alone. Please help return Katie to her parents and protect your kids from such abuse. Please continue praying for Katie. Thank you all so much.

People writing may also send me a copy of their letter to the judge by sending it to: Michele Wernecke, P.O. Box 132, Agua Dulce, Texas 78330. Also, please write and call your local state representatives to bring Katie home. Call the Governor ,Rick Perry, at (512) 463-2000, asking him to bring Katie home, and the Texas Attorney General, Gregg Abbott at: (512) 463-2100 and complain about CPS abuse of this family, that taking a cancer patient away from her family is cruel and abusive, and that parents have the right to make the medical decisions for their children. We need everyone of you to do this now. We need to get all the calls this week to Governor Rick Perry that we can and maybe they will investigate into this deeper. I beg you please help me and Katie.

Michele Wernecke

Please go to these websites for more information: You can find sample letters to write at http://www.compassionchildren.org/katie.htm In addition to these please write, call, or email your local state representative. You can give a donation at http://http://www.compassionchildren.org/ for Katie's medical and legal expenses or get free e-books with your donation at http://www.helpingkidswithcancer.com.