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• BENEFICIARIES •
2020 Beneficiary Belladonna Sprunt of Bowdon, ND
August 14th, 2020
Belladonna (Bella) is 5 years old and lives with her mom, dad, and 2 brothers in Bowdon, ND. In September 2019, she was diagnosed with C.M.T. (Charcot Marie Tooth) which is a neurological disease that damages the nerves in her arms and legs. Then, on November 6th, after being sick and not eating, she was diagnosed with A.L.L. (acute lymphoblastic leukemia). Since then, Bella has been undergoing chemotherapy in Bismarck, N.D. Her case is a little more complicated because of her pre-existing neurological disease. Bella is such a strong little girl who has endured so much, but she continues to smile and take it all as it comes. Bella's community has rallied around her as a support system. Her parents moved to North Dakota from North Carolina several years ago and, as a result, have no family close by. But, they have an entire town that loves and supports them. Of course, the financial strain has been difficult. Bella's mom stays home to take care of her and her little brother. Bella's dad works as a local farmer, but had to miss quite a bit of work at the beginning of her diagnoses while Bella was hospitalized. There were also the weekly trips to Bismarck for treatment and other expenses related. We don't know what the future holds or how long treatments will need to continue, but it will most likely be a long road yet. Bella is a magical little girl who loves unicorns and it breaks our hearts to watch her fight this battle, but she knows she is loved and never alone.
2019 Beneficiary Jacob Petermann from Wahpeton, ND
August 09, 2019
Jacob is a 17 year old basketball player living in Wahpeton, ND with his family. On January 12th, 2018 their lives changed forever. Jacob fell during a warm-up basketball game, he was taken to Altru in Grand Forks and soon air lifted to the U of M Masonic Children's Hospital in Minneapolis, MN where they were given the news that Jacob has osteosarcoma cancer, a pediatric cancer of the bone. It was also determined by x-ray that he had broken his left femur bone and his leg was put in traction, that’s where they drill a rod through his lower leg with a 50lb weight on the end to pull his femur apart to it has a chance to heal. He started chemotherapy and was bed ridden for 3 months. On April 2nd, 2018 they received another tough challenge, the bone was not able to heal and Jacob needed to have an above the knee amputation. He spent 6 more months doing chemotherapy. At the end of his chemo treatments they found 5 nodules in his left lung and 2 in his right. Out of 7, 2 were osteosarcoma tumors, his cancer had metastasized to his lungs and he needed surgeries to remove. He was finally able to get a prosthetic after his chemo and lung surgeries. Jacobs last check up shows 2 small spots on his lungs with a recheck in 3 months, but the doctors are hopeful.
2018 Beneficiary Emma Basting from Northwood, ND
August 10th, 2018
Emma, from Northwood, ND, is the daughter of Aaron & Brandi Basting and has a baby brother Jack. Emma was brought into her pediatrician on 12/31/17 because she almost instantly lost the ability to walk and hold her balance on her feet. She was sent for an MRI which identified a tumor on her spine. She was immediately life flighted to the U of M Masonic Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, MN where chemotherapy began the same day. At the Children’s hospital after a UA test, MIBG scan, and a biopsy of both the tumor and bone marrow, Emma was diagnosed with High Risk Neuroblastoma. After chemo they learned the tumor continued to grow and Emma had emergency surgery to remove part of the tumor and relieve pressure on her spine, with hopes of saving her lower body/leg function. Emma’s next 18 months will include 5 more rounds of chemo, stem cell transplants, surgeries, radiation and immunotherapy and most if not all these treatments will need to be done in Minneapolis, MN (5 hours from home). Emma currently has no use of her lower body and due to spinal cord atrophy caused by the spinal compression from the tumor, it is unlikely her paralysis will go away. Emma’s baby brother Jack was born on 2/3/18, and while they are excited to welcome him to their family, his birth has forced them to temporarily separate while mom and baby are back in North Dakota while Emma’s cancer treatments remain in Minnesota.
Thanks to all donations we were able to raise over $17800.00 for Emma and her family! So amazing!
2017 Beneficiary Cully Oothoudt's family from Mandan, ND
August 18th, 2017
Cullen Blaise Oothoudt, 4, Mandan, passed away August 6, 2017 at Sanford Hospital in Fargo. He fought a tough battle with Medulloblastoma, a cancerous brain tumor.
Cully spent December through the beginning of February of 2015 in Rochester at Mayo Clinic receiving chemotherapy and proton beam radiation. After he came home he went into the maintenance phase of his treatment. He received chemo every few weeks, which was tough on his little body. It affected his hearing and he struggled with walking.
In September of 2016, our fears were confirmed when scans showed that his cancer had returned, even while receiving active treatment. Mayo offered a couple of treatments but stressed hospice more than anything. We sought help from a doctor at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC and also the University of Minnesota Masonic Hospital in Minneapolis. This spring, Cully finished a trial at the U of MN that helped in getting the tumors to shrink. Cully had plans to return to the U of MN for more trials this month but the tumors had grown and spread leaving no treatment available.
We were able to raise $15,841 for his family!
2016 Beneficiary Justin Williams from Jamestown, ND
August 19th, 2016
Justin Williams, 40, of Jamestown, ND, passed away after a long and courageous battle with Leukemia, on January 5, 2017 in his home surrounded by his loving family.
Justin lived in Jamestown, ND with his wife Cortnie (Cook) and their two boys Isaac age 9 and Ben Age 6. Justin works as a Mechanical Engineer at United Technologies Corporation. Justin loves to hunt, fish, hike, camp and smoke meats with his friends and family.
Justin’s battle began 3 years ago when he was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia. In January of 2016, Justin and his family learned that his cancer metastasized into a mass around his spinal cord and into his cerebrospinal fluid (myeloid sarcoma). Justin suffered a spinal cord stroke the night before he was to undergo surgery. During the time of hospitalization in Fargo, Justin has endured a round of radiation, chemotherapy and underwent intense physical therapy to work on regaining strength and function of his legs. In May Justin was transferred to the University of Minnesota to do all the pre-transport testing. With that, it was discovered that the leukemia came back with the growth on his spine growing again, 2 new lesions on his lungs, and the leukemia in the fluid surrounding his lungs as well. He was re-admitted in to Sanford for more chemo. The whole transplant process will then be started with a projected transplant date of August 4th.
The event raised $6100 for his family.
2015 Beneficiary Alex Schilke from East Grand Forks, MN
August 14th, 2015
Alex is now in remission! Alex was a 25 year old police officer from East Grand Forks, MN for 3 years at the time. He found out he was getting an award for DWI enforcement from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. This award honored 30 police officers in the state of Minnesota for their work with DWI enforcement. In May 2015 Alex experienced severe pain in his right arm. A trip to the ER revealed he had a mass in his armpit. He was referred to an oncologist who scheduled for removal of the mass due to the concern about the size of it. On June 10, 2015 Alex got the news that he had an aggressive form of Lymphoma. That same day the preparation for treatment began and 2 days later, Alex was in Sanford Hospital receiving his first round of chemotherapy. Alex was on his third round of chemotherapy and things are looking promising.
The event raised $5000 for his family.