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Mother of 8, battling melanoma, earns paralegal degree

5:19 PM, May 12, 2013

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Most days Carol Pingel concentrates on chewing the ear of the elephant rather than trying to eat the whole thing.

It's a catchy reminder to focus on small, manageable goals. And it is something that has helped the mother of eight complete an associate degree at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College while cancer slowly kills her. She graduates with honors Thursday.

Pingel has Stage 4 melanoma. She sometimes feels too ill to get out of bed. She has worked on homework in the bathroom and she has thrown up on her laptop's keyboard. She used a feeding tube last month. She's had crying jags. ...

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If you've ever answered "Who has the ball?" with "It's halftime," you might recognize The Airhead. Check out the characters in our cartoon gallery of oddball fans.

Special Reports