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Laura Jill Negen photo Megan Stier, center, gets a charge out of the display of affection by her older siblings Dean, right, and Brooke. Megan, who was born with Down syndrome, joined the Cardinals' swimming and diving team this fall. Joining the squad was an uplifting experience for Megan, an eighth-grader, and her family.

Willmar Notebook: Catching Up with Megan

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Dean Stier and younger sister Brooke were 4 and 2 years old when their little sister Megan was born. Megan was a sickly child weighing only 11 pounds at 6 months.

Complicating a weak heart, she fought a respiratory infection her first winter. Her parents, Mark and Lynn, spent a month sharing time at the infant's beside at Rice Hospital. Neighbors, friends, relatives and co-workers helped the Stiers through those difficult days, noted in this column 14 years ago this spring.

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Rand Middleton

Covers Willmar and area high schools and Ridgewater College, plus amateur baseball, stock car racing and fitness events in summer. Writes weekly column since 1980. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 

(320) 214-4334
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