Special Report: Island Angels
Mackinac Island draws millions of visitors each year.
But one woman’s visit from Marinette, Wisconsin, was extra special.
Fifteen. The number 15 changed a woman’s life in Marinette when she was told she had 15 months left to live.
So what do you do with that kind of news? Well, for Debbie Kornusky it meant going to her favorite place, Mackinac Island, where she had the trip of a lifetime thanks to the blessings of the island angels.
“I think I am addicted to Mackinac Island,” said Debbie.
It’s a family tradition for Debbie, her husband Mark and her daughter Lily, but they’ve never stayed overnight.
“Every year we try to make it there because we are only three and a half hours away,” said Debbie.
For Debbie and Mark’s 22nd anniversary in September, going to their favorite place was an obvious choice; however, this trip would be very different.
“We went into Nadia’s and they knew something was wrong and the one lady had tears in her eyes and she said, ‘I don’t know why but I need to talk to you and meet you,’ and I said, ‘I have stage 4 cancer,’” Debbie said. “They prayed that I would be cured and would have more time with family. We got back home and I told about that story on Addicted to Mackinac and I explained how much it meant to me.”
Addicted to Mackinac Island is a Facebook page that has nearly 20,000 members. Her post grabbed the attention of Mackinac Island innkeeper, Rose Witt.
“I just had to do something. I messaged her and said, ‘Would you like to come back to Mackinac and stay 2 nights with us’?”, said Rose.
They decided to go. Little did they know, some Shepler’s Ferry employees pitched in to get them tickets.
Lily even got to be the honorary captain as she helped steer the ferry through the Straits of Mackinac.
Before they even got to the island, a chain reaction of kindness was beginning.
Island businesses donated gifts to welcome Debbie’s family.
Debbie added, “I posted on Addicted to Mackinac because I would post all of these angels showing up. They all couldn’t believe it and they said that’s Mackinac for you.”
The generosity didn’t stop there.
“Within an hour I had people messaging me, ‘Is there a way that I can buy her lunch or buy her dinner?’” said Rose.
“Everything felt like a dream, like you don’t want to wake up,” said Debbie.
Then they received a flight over the island.
“I started crying. Mark looked at me and said, ‘Take it all in’ and it’s hard to do because you’re not used to something like this ever happening,” said Debbie.
Debbie thought their two-night stay on the island was over, but Rose had something else planned.
“I said, ‘You’re not leaving,’ and she said, ‘What?’ She started to tear up and I said, ‘My boss called and I’m putting you up in the Lilac Tree Hotel,’” said Rose.
It’s kind of strange how things happen when you’re faced with knowing you don’t have much time left.
Actress Jane Seymour, from the movie “Somewhere in Time” was on Mackinac Island, and even she caught wind of Debbie’s story.
“Jane says to us, ‘Deb, Mark, go and dance,’ and I start crying. Now I’m dancing with my love and I’m dancing in front of Jane Seymour and this could not be happening to me because I’ll never forget it and I know Mark won’t, and in my ear he’s telling me he loves me and that this moment, he will never forget,” said Debbie.
In just four days, so many incredible acts of kindness occurred, and in the back of her mind, Debbie couldn’t help but wonder why her?
“I told Mark, ‘I swear its angels’ because everything was lining up beyond what could be planned,” said Debbie.
Making it easy to see why Debbie and her family are addicted to Mackinac.
“It felt like there was a movement, that God was with us and it was all one big picture that we were being part of something way more amazing than us going on vacation,” said Mark.
“I think the best thing about this is that people are going to learn to be nice and kind to other people and they are going to share this story with other people and it’s going to be amazing,” said Lilly.
The island angels aren’t quite done with Debbie, she will be returning to the island this December for the Christmas tree lighting.
If you’re looking for a way to help Debbie and her family in any way possible, click here for her GoFundMe.