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Finding hope and healing after tragedy

Steve Ullmer, who lost his wife in 2017, and Erin Stoffel, whose husband and 11-year-old daughter were killed by a gunman on the Trestle Trail in 2015, sit down with Robert Hornacek for an interview about healing and hope on CW 14 Focus.

(WCWF) -- This week on CW 14 Focus host Robert Hornacek will be joined by two guests who have overcome unthinkable tragedies to find healing and hope.

Erin Stoffel and Steve Ullmer will appear on the show.

In 2015, Stoffel's husband Jon and the couple's 11-year-old daughter Olivia were killed by a gunman on the Trestle Trail bridge. Erin Stoffel was shot three times but survived. The couple's two other children survived.

On the show, Stoffel will talk about how she dealt with the tragedy and found hope.

"You almost have to take it moment by moment sometimes, and one day at a time," Stoffel said. "We do a lot of just talking it through. For me it just praying, praying all the time."

In the years since the tragedy, Stoffel has sought to bring hope to others who experienced tragedy, including Steve Ullmer.

In March 2017, Ullmer’s wife Wendy passed away in her sleep. The couple has four young sons.

On the show, Ullmer recalled the message Stoffel initially sent him. "It was very simple," Ullmer said. "'I've been where you have.' She said, 'There's no words that can get you through this but keep leaning on Jesus. He'll be faithful. He'll get you through.'"

In the past year, Ullmer and Stoffel say they've grown closer and have helped each other heal. In April, Ullmer and Stoffel became engaged. They are planning a wedding for later this month.

CW 14 Focus is a weekly, half-hour interview program that focuses on the issues important to people in northeast Wisconsin. Each week, Robert Hornacek will sit down with a different guest and go beyond the sound bites. The program will highlight the people making a difference in the community and give viewers an opportunity to get in depth perspective. CW 14 Focus airs Sundays at 10 a.m.