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Local healer battles cancer

For decades, Linda Foerderer has been known for her healing touch.

Now it's her turn to be healed.

The rural Wadena resident is facing metastatic breast cancer with a positive attitude, believing natural medicine - and the power of prayer - will deliver her from the fight of her life.

"I'm going to lick this thing," Linda said Sunday at her peaceful home in eastern Otter Tail County. "I serve a big God who is on my side."

The Wadena VFW will host a benefit April 3 from 4 to 7 p.m. to help the Foerderers cover accrued expenses. There will be a spaghetti supper, silent auction and Amish pies for sale. Silent auction donations can be dropped off at Albers Realty and Culligan. Cash donations can be sent to Wadena State Bank.

Linda and her husband Steve Foerderer said they've been overwhelmed with the generosity of the Wadena community.

"We've had a tremendous amount of support," Steve said.

Linda said her friends - "All of my clients became my friends" - and neighbors, including the Amish who stop by to chat and give her fresh baked bread, have taught her to be more generous herself.

Linda's not used to being on the receiving end of care.

She convinced the Wadena City Council to amend an ordinance which outlawed massage therapy, then opened the city's first clinic, Touch of Health, in 1989, shortly after the couple moved to the area from a dairy farm in North Dakota.

"It was quite the feat," Linda said. "Years ago, massage had negative connotations."

In 1999, she started working out of her home, while also helping Steve run Wadena Auctions.

"I'm a caregiver. It's my gift," Linda said. "When I got sick, the worst thing was letting people care for me."

These days, she's an independent distributor of essential oils and a wellness consultant.

"I hate that I'm not working," she said, "but my mouth still works so I still advise."