‘I know you can do this’: Linton community surrounds family with love and support after tragedy strikes

The Schmidt family was rocked by the death of Erin Schmidt and her infant son James.
The Schmidt family was rocked by the death of Erin Schmidt and her infant son James.(KVLY/ Schmidt family)
Published: Aug. 14, 2022 at 7:28 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - On June 28, the Schmidt family was rocked by the death of Erin Schmidt due to cancer. Weeks later, her infant son James, who was born at 23 weeks, died as well. In the face of tragedy, the Linton community surrounded the family with love and support.

“The amount of support from the community, the outpouring from everyone around here I can’t put it into words what it means for our family.” said Erik Schmidt, Erin’s husband.

In late June, Erin, who was pregnant at the time, was experiencing back pain. She was taken to a Fargo hospital where doctors discovered she had poor liver function, however they couldn’t figure out why. She was soon sent to the Mayo Clinic for further evaluation, but her condition worsened. Erin soon gave birth to her son James.

The medical experts there soon determined that her liver was impacted by cancer that she had, and that it had spread. Erin later died on June 28 and weeks later her son died too, taking his last breath on July 11. In response to the tragic events, people from Linton rallied around the family, holding a memorial walk and fundraiser to help raise support.

“I’m pretty sure she would be just as overwhelmed as we are.” said Erik Schmidt on how his wife would react to all of this.

Erin was beloved in the community. She was a teacher, a proud member of her church and was a part of the local 4-H group. Lisa Hendrickson, who helped put together the event along with a committee, said that Erin had an impact on a lot of people’s lives in their town.

“Erin was fun. She was loving, she was caring. She was a role model to her students she worked with in school. You could often find her being with her girls, family was amazingly important to her,” said Hendrickson, “When asked to do something she was more than willing to give up her time. It’s important for us to give up our time and to give back to them.”

While the family and the community continues to deal with the emotions of losing both Erin and James, her husband pointed out Erin’s motto in life, ‘I know you can do this’. Which is inspiring Erik as he now takes care of Laura, Jill and Heidi.

“I’m going to have to do it. And I am going to do it. For her, for the girls.” said Erik Schmidt.

Erin Schmidt was 40-years-old. A GoFundMe page was set up for the family which has already exceeded its goal of $35,000. For more information, click here.

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