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Community Fundraisers
Community Fundraisers are conducted by friends and families of a person(s) with a disability for which NDAD acts as custodian of the funds raised. These funds can be used to help the person with urgent needs and expenses. The funds may also be used beyond the scope of NDAD’s guidelines, such as helping with doctor, clinic or hospital bills and paying pre-existing bills.

There are many people with disabilities, in communities across the state, in need of financial assistance. 100% of your donation will be used for the person’s needs. Even the smallest donations still have an impact. Any funds donated to NDAD will qualify for a charitable donation and be deductible for donors who itemize.
Below are the current community fundraisers going on throughout North Dakota. Click on a name below to donate and help others to help themselves.

Give OnlineAfter a seemingly normal pregnancy complete with surprise announcements, pictures of a growing belly, nursery decorations and cravings, an ultrasound at 28 weeks revealed that Erin and Brody Peterson’s baby had an enlarged bladder.

For the next 11 weeks, Erin and Brody attended twice-weekly ultrasounds and countless doctors appointment in Grand Forks, where they live, and in Fargo to monitor the baby’s kidney and bladder function.

Erin and Brody traveled to Fargo, where Erin would be induced at 39 weeks in a place where specialists would be available should the baby need them.

On Sept. 22, Everly Anne Peterson was born -- a sweet baby girl weighing 7 pounds and 10 ounces, with bright eyes and a full head of soft brown hair.

Unfortunately, not long after the first few visitors had left, Everly was unable to keep milk down, began spitting up bile and was admitted to the NICU. The initial testing showed an intestinal blockage that would require an operation.

So at only 2 days old, Everly underwent her first surgery. In the days following Everly’s surgery her condition did not improve. Further bladder and intestinal issues were identified and it became clear that the problem was much more serious than even her family''s worst fears.

In her first month of life in Fargo, Everly tolerated numerous tests and procedures around the clock. The skilled and compassionate medical staff in Fargo worked tirelessly to care for her but after all was said and done, she was still lovingly referred to as their "mystery baby."

In a meeting on Oct. 20, a room full of more than 15 medical personal and two very concerned parents decided that Everly needed to be moved to a larger hospital that specialized in gastrointestinal care and the very next day Everly took her first plane ride to Milwaukee Children’s Hospital in Wisconsin.

Everly’s gastrointestinal system and bladder are still not functioning and nobody knows why. This means that she is not able to eat or digest on her own. Erin and Brody are learning to catheterize her to empty her bladder manually and she receives nutrition through a pic line.

Unfortunately these solutions can only be temporary.

More recently, Everly had surgery to insert a tube that goes from her mouth through her stomach and into her intestines to try and pinpoint the problem. The medical team also took a piece of the intestinal wall to analyze.

The family still doesn't know what the future holds and is praying for a miracle. Meanwhile, their financial challenges steadily increase, the amount their medical insurance covers is very uncertain, and a number of their expenses caused by the ordeal fall outside of insurance.

In January, Erin Peterson's paid maternity leave expires, which may require Erin and Brody to forfeit her income all together.

Several fundraisers have been established to help Everly and her family with medical and general expenses. One of them is set for Thursday, Dec. 10, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at East Grand Forks (Minn.) Eagles Club. The freewill donation event includes a spaghetti dinner, raffle and bake sale.

Charitable nonprofit NDAD is sponsoring the event through its free-of-charge Community Fundraisers Program. All proceeds through the NDAD-sponsored fundraiser will go to help Everly and her parents with their medical and general expenses.

Click on the "Give Online" button that accompanies this article and photo to donate online to help Everly and her family using your credit card or PayPal. Or, mail your donation to help Everly and her family to NDAD, c/o Everly Peterson Fundraiser, 2660 S. Columbia Road, Grand Forks, ND 58201.

You can continue to follow Everly's cause at:
* NDAD''s Facebook page
* CaringBridge: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/everlypeterson and on the following social media sites.
* Twitter:@foreverlyp
* Instagram: foreverlypeterson #foreverly #foreverlystrong #teameverly
* Facebook:foreverly

Read a Grand Forks Herald article about Everly HERE.

See a video about Everly HERE

PHOTO: Traci Adamson Photography.
Mail Donations For EVERLY PETERSON To:
c/o Everly Peterson Fundraiser
2660 S. Columbia Road
Grand Forks, ND 58201

Please make checks payable to NDAD and be sure to write "Everly Peterson" on your check's memo line. All proceeds -- 100 percent -- will go to help Everly and her family with medical and general expenses.

Learn more about NDAD's free Community Fundraisers Program and how it may help you help another with serious health challenges or a disability. Call (800) 532-NDAD.
Give OnlineNOTE: The benefit for Adam Dahl has been held, but the NDAD fund remains open to accept donations.

Adam J. Dahl was out celebrating UND hockey in downtown Grand Forks during the early morning hours of March 29, 2015, when his celebration abruptly halted.

The 34-year-old Grand Forks man suddenly found himself blind-sided and knocked down. He remembers nothing after that, and says he doesn’t know why it happened or who did it to him.

At Altru Hospital, Adam learned later that he sustained severe trauma to his head. He had a busted right eye socket, broken nose and broken jaw. He had a brain bleed, fractured skull, nasal fracture and fracture of his upper lip. His cheekbone was rotated and depressed, with fractures and depression around one eye that was slightly drooping.

Adam may have possible nerve damage.

More than a week later, after time allowed the swelling to subside, a team of surgeons at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis on April 7 took 12 hours, preceded by three hours of preparations, to repair all the fractures Adam had sustained. That was five hours longer than had been planned. The extra time was needed because Adam had such significant facial trauma; for one, his fractured skull was noticeably depressed into his brain space.

Neurosurgeons and ENT specialists performed reconstructive surgery and finished very positive about how the surgery went.

Adam most definitely was happy that the surgery was over.

The day after surgery, the first thing Adam asked his doctor was if he could put in his left contact lens and watch UND hockey on TV.

Adam is a wonderful young man,” wrote Cindy Dahl, his aunt. “He has always been hard working, helpful and giving. He is a homeowner and self-employed. Adam has a lot of friends and a very hard-working and loving family. . . . Adam has a good attitude. His mind is sharp and his personality and disposition are intact.”

He is resting and recovering, but he will not be able to work for some time, his aunt says.

Cindy Dahl says her nephew’s friends have been supporting and reaching out to him in many ways, including many friends from his former employment at UND and throughout area racing circuits, including at River Cities Speedway.

Adam was educated mostly in Manvel, N.D., and graduated from high school in Fisher, Minn., near where his parents, Al and Cheri, had moved.

An NDAD-sponsored benefit to help Adam Dahl will be held Friday, June 26, at the East Grand Forks (Minn.) American Legion. Details still are being settled, but plans so far call for a spaghetti supper, silent auction, 50-50 raffle and music by Kenny and The Classics that evening. Proceeds will go to help Adam with medical and general expenses.

In the meantime, you can help Adam immediately by donating online, using the “Give Online” button accompanying this article and your credit card or PayPal account.

Or, you may mail a donation to NDAD at the address provided below.
Mail Donations For ADAM DAHL To:
c/o Adam Dahl Fundraiser
2660 S. Columbia Road
Grand Forks, ND 58201

Please make your check payable to NDAD and be sure to write “Adam Dahl” on your check’s memo line.

Keep track of updates about the fundraising effort for Adam by liking NDAD's Facebook page.

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Give OnlineThe Brad Sanner benefit was held Jan. 15, 2015, but you still may make donations online or by mail. See this article, written in January, for details.

NDAD's article about Brad Sanner is HERE.

Longtime Grand Forks resident Brad Sanner, a married father of six, has been battling metastatic melanoma since July – but his health challenges began long before this year.

More than a decade ago, Brad had a cancerous mole removed from the same leg where cancer has re-emerged. Brad also needs dialysis for a transplanted kidney that failed in early 2012 -- about 10 years after he received the transplant that itself came five years after he was diagnosed with end stage renal disease. Four years into dialysis, he also developed profound congestive heart failure and an irregular heartbeat. So far, he's avoided a new round of heart problems.

The challenge Brad faces: To be eligible for another kidney transplant, he needs to be cancer free for at least three years.

In August and September at the Mayo Clinic complex in Rochester, Minn., Brad had three needle biopsies and two surgeries to remove the large cancerous mass on his leg and also cancerous lymph nodes in the area of his hip.

He’s spent the month of November at Mayo Clinic to receive a complex combination of radiation treatments and dialysis.

For the next three years, Brad needs monthly injections of a medication on a 14-days-on, 14-days-off schedule, with PET scans and follow-up appointments for blood work at Mayo Clinic every three months.

As Brad continues to deal with serious health issues, his treatment and follow-up care mean that he and his family also face serious financial challenges.

“Brad does not know how his treatments will affect his health, if he will be able to work at all, and how much of his treatment will be covered by insurance and Medicare,” wrote his wife, Amy. “The trips to Rochester are costly, and we want to be able to keep life as normal as possible for our family.”

Attend the old-fashioned variety show and silent auction benefit on Thursday, Jan. 15, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at downtown Grand Forks’ Empire Arts Center. Charitable nonprofit NDAD is a sponsor of the event through its free-of-charge Community Fundraisers Program. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for children 12 and younger in advance or at the door. Purchase a ticket for the event by contacting deb.johnson@gfschools.org, (701) 741-3322.

To make a silent auction donation, contact kim.novak@gfschools.org, (701) 739-5753.

Meanwhile, a fund has been established, with NDAD as fund custodian, for the Brad Sanner fundraising efforts, and you may make donations today to help the Sanners right away:

• Donate online on this page, using a credit card or PayPal account and the “Give Online” button that accompanies this article.

• Mail a donation to NDAD, c/o Brad Sanner Fundraiser, 2660 S. Columbia Road, Grand Forks, ND 58201. Please make your check payable to NDAD and be sure to write “Brad Sanner” on your check’s memo line.

All proceeds will be used to help the Sanners with medical and general expenses.

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Brad was born in Bloomington, Minn., and was a high school football, hockey and track athlete at Kennedy High School. He moved to Grand Forks in August 1982 to attend the University of North Dakota. His high school sweetheart, Amy, joined him in Grand Forks. Now, they have been married 28 years.

Brad is a former Grand Forks Public Schools paraprofessional who coached hockey and served as a hockey referee in Grand Forks for more than 25 years.

He was 35 years old with five children at home when he was diagnosed with end stage renal disease. His kidneys failed and he began dialysis. Brad then was unable to work in a computer science position. He began education courses at UND when not in dialysis. Four years later, more medication and long dialysis needed to keep his now-problematic heart functioning at the 20 percent level.

Soon, a family friend donated one of her kidneys, and Brad's kidney transplant operation took place at the Mayo Clinic in April 2002.

About a year after his transplant, Brad discovered a mole on his right leg. A biopsy revealed a melanoma, a development that occurs sometimes with people on post-transplant immunosuppressant therapy. The mole was removed, his medications changed and non further cancer was detected.

But Brad's transplanted kidney didn't function as effectively after the medication change. It failed in January 2012.

During that time off dialysis, Brad had worked primarily in special education in the Grand Forks School System, and he sometimes even served as a substitute in Amy Sanner's early childhood special education class.

The Sanners were trained through Sanford Health in home hemo dialysis, so when he returned to a daily dialysis schedule, he had more flexibility than before. He could attend more of his children's activities and also work part time, and he also has avoided the heart complications that threatened him during his earlier round of dialysis.

Brad discovered a lump on his right thigh early this year -- the same leg that earlier had the cancerous mole. In late April, a surgeon drained what was thought to be a cyst. When the incision failed to heal, Brad returned to a second surgeon, who ordered a biopsy, and he was diagnosed with metastatic melanoma on July 15. The skin cancer had spread to soft tissue in his leg. That's when he was referred to Mayo Clinic, where the Sanner family "felt most secure," they said, with a medical team that includes specialists in dermatology, radiology, oncology and nephrology.

During the current schedule of meds, scans and blood work appointments, Amy wrote, "We would love for Brad to have the opportunity to receive a kidney in the future.

"It's difficult to ask for help with this, and we so appreciate the kindness and generosity of our community. We are lucky people to have made Grand Forks our home!"

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Mail Donations For BRAD SANNER To:
c/o Brad Sanner Fundraiser
2660 S. Columbia Road
Grand Forks, ND 58201

Please make checks payable to NDAD and be sure to write "Brad Sanner" on your check''s memo line. Thank you.

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Please go to NDAD's Facebook page and "like" NDAD to stay up-to-date with upcoming information about Brad Sanner fundraising efforts and about other fundraisers and endeavors by charitable nonprofit NDAD.

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Give OnlineNOTE: The benefit for David Knapp has been held, but the fund for donations to assist David remains open. Click the "Give Online" button to provide a donation with your credit card or PayPal, or mail a donation to the address provided below. Thank you.

A benefit will be held on Tuesday, May 26, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the basement of St. Mary’s Church, 216 Belmont Road, in Grand Forks to help David Knapp, 65, a longtime community resident and St. Mary’s parish and choir member.

David awaits a kidney transplant – he is in stage 5 renal (kidney) failure -- and he is in serious need of assistance. His failing kidney was diagnosed in 2013.

Although David has been employed at Opp Construction for about 30 years, he more recently has been unable to work at his full capacity because of his illness.

David and his wife of 42 years, Cabrini Marie, are parents to six adult children and grandparents to six more. Strong believers in holistic medicine and vitamin supplements, David and Cabrini sell those supplements on a limited basis.

David was raised in Grand Forks. A graduate of Central High School, he has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from the University of North Dakota.

Besides participation in St. Mary’s choir, David enjoys gardening and camping when his health allows.

The May 26 benefit includes a spaghetti dinner from 5 to 7, and a silent auction and bake sale from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

All proceeds from this NDAD-sponsored fundraiser will assist David with medical bills, lodging and other transportation costs for out-of-town medical appointments, and other general necessities while he awaits a transplant.

Monetary donations written to NDAD and many in-kind donations may be tax deductible for those who itemize on their taxes.

To make donations for a benefit silent auction, please contact either Virginia Esslinger, (701) 775-8208, vesslinger@gra.midco.net; or Aida Wakefield, (701) 746-7708, wakehear@msn.com.

Monetary donations can be made by mail or online. Click the “Give Online” button that accompanies this article and photo and use a credit card or PayPal to make your donation.

Or, please use the mailing address below to mail a donation. Thank you.
Mail Donations For DAVID KNAPP To:
c/o David Knapp Fundraiser
2660 S. Columbia Road
Grand Forks, ND 58201

Please make your check payable to NDAD and be sure to write "David Knapp" on the check''s memo line. Thank you.

Keep track of updates about the fundraising effort for David by liking NDAD's Facebook page.

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Give OnlineNOTE: The benefit for Rick Gessler was held Nov. 15, but the fund for Rick remains open. You can donate to it, using the "Give Online" button with this article, or you can still mail a donation. Thanks.

Rick Gessler, an active and giving member of the Grand Forks community, is recovering from complicated medical conditions and has been experiencing a series of health challenges for the past three years.

He's the focus of a special benefit concert and freewill-offering meal Sunday, Nov. 15, at Sharon Lutheran Church in Grand Forks. NDAD is a sponsor. The public is invited to Rally For Rick.

Rick's life-threatening challenges have resulted in infections of internal organs and many surgeries and hospitalizations, including ICU hospital stays.

Rick returned to the Mayo Clinic Health System for an emergency surgery on Oct. 7. In receiving care, Rick’s condition has necessitated three separate emergency trips to Mayo -- one by ambulance and two by air.

Rick has served in local healthcare professionally for more than 30 years and has a long history of helping others.

The Nov. 15 fundraiser for Rick at Sharon Lutheran Church begins with a freewill-offering meal at 6 p.m., followed by a benefit concert at 7 p.m. that features Higher Ground, Sharon Lutheran''s musical worship team, and more entertainment.

Rick grew up in New Jersey with five sisters and one brother, and moved to Grand Forks in 1976. He has called Grand Forks home ever since. As a member of the U.S. Air Force, Rick served as a security policeman at Grand Forks Air Force Base for his four-year tour of duty.

Since his honorable discharge, Rick has called Grand Forks home.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in nursing and has positively impacted healthcare locally, working for Altru Health System for nearly 30 years.

Rick has been married to Roxanne Gessler since 2007 and together they claim 11 adult children.

Rick, a drummer and vocalist, has played with Higher Ground since it began 21 years ago. He’s also played and sang in several other bands.

One of Rick’s claims to fame is his love of cooking LARGE amounts of spaghetti sauce, better known as “Ricky’s Ragu."

Rick appreciates relationships where he can nourish others, according to friends and families. He loves to connect with people, sharing the joys of life. Rick is passionate about family and friends, fishing, and food. He loves to entertain, make others laugh and always makes people feel welcome.

Rally For Rick is sponsored by NDAD through the charitable nonprofit''s popular, free Community Fundraiser Program. Learn more about it by calling (800) 532-NDAD.
Mail Donations For RICK GESSLER To:
c/o Rick Gessler Fundraiser
2660 S. Columbia Road
Grand Forks, ND 58201

Please make your check payable to NDAD and be sure to write “Rick Gessler” on your check’s memo line.

Keep track of updates about the fundraising effort for Rick by liking NDAD's Facebook page and sharing content about Rick with others who may want to help. Thank you

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Give OnlineNOTE: The benefit for Steve Hunt was held May 2, 2014, but NDAD's fund to assist Steve remains open for donations. This article was written prior to the benefit.

In 27 years of law enforcement work, Steve Hunt has never encountered a threat like the one he’s facing now.

Currently the sheriff, coroner and emergency manager for Traill County, N.D., Steve was diagnosed in September 2014 with a genetic liver disease that’s been complicated by hepatocellular carcinoma, a cancer arising from his liver cells.

Steve is on a liver transplant waiting list with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). Since his diagnosis, he and his family travel to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., every six to eight weeks for tests and treatments, including chemotherapy embolization treatments in an attempt to shrink his tumors. Each stay lasts at least a week.

He’s hardly alone in his battle to regain good health. His wife, Shannon – they’ll have been married 25 years come June – has been with him throughout, and their two daughters, Nicole and Kaylee, are a constant source of support.

The family has lived in Shannon’s hometown of Reynolds, N.D., since the spring of 1992. Steve has worked with Traill County since 2000.
Their friends and others in the community have joined the Hunts in their battle, and so has NDAD through its free-of-charge Community Fundraisers Program.

A special benefit is set for Sat., May 2, at the Reynolds Knights of Columbus Hall to raise money on the Hunts’ behalf. All proceeds from the event will go to help the Hunt family with medical and general expenses.

The May 2 benefit includes a meatball dinner from 4 to 8 p.m. and a live auction that starts at 6 p.m.

There are other ways you can help, whether or not you attend the benefit.

Here on NDAD.org’s Community Fundraisers page, you can click the “Give Online” button with this article about Steve Hunt and, using a credit card or PayPal, make a donation to help him.

Or, you can send a check to help the Hunts at: NDAD, c/o Steve Hunt Fundraiser, 2660 S. Columbia Road, Grand Forks, ND 58201. Please be sure to make your check out to NDAD and be sure to write “Steve Hunt” on your check’s memo line.

Follow the progress of this fundraiser and others for people in need facing health and disability challenges by liking NDAD’s Facebook page.

Learn more about NDAD’s Community Fundraisers Program by calling (800) 532-NDAD or stopping by at one of NDAD’s four North Dakota offices, in Grand Forks, Minot, Fargo and Williston. The addresses and phone numbers are on the home page of NDAD.org.
Mail Donations For STEVE HUNT To:
c/o Steve Hunt Fundraiser
2660 S. Columbia Road
Grand Forks, ND 58201

Please make your check payable to NDAD and be sure to write "Steve Hunt" on the check''s memo line. Thank you.

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Give OnlineTavia Kuntz was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and underwent surgery to remove her entire thyroid in July 2014.

She receives her treatment at the Mayo Clinic complex in Rochester, Minn., requiring multiple long-distance trips for care there.

Tavia will undergo radioactive iodine therapy soon, which prevents her from being around her children for 21 days.

You may make a donation to help Tavia and her family at the address below.

Or, you may make a donation online to help Tavia by clicking the "Give Online" button with this article. Use your credit card or PayPal to make a donation.

Thank you.
Mail Donations For TAVIA KUNTZ To:
American Bank Center
140 First Ave. W.
Dickinson ND 58601

Please go to NDAD's Facebook page and "like" NDAD to stay up-to-date with upcoming information about fundraisers and endeavors by charitable nonprofit NDAD.

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Give OnlineThe benefit for Teresa Kaercher has been held. Donations still may be made via the "Give Online" button that accompanies this article or by mail.

Teresa Kaercher began 2015 not at all expecting that she'd become the focus of a June benefit to help her deal with medical and general expenses.

Teresa's March 10 mammogram and three subsequent biopsies the following week which detected breast cancer. On April 7, the Grand Forks single mom of a 15-year-old son, Jacob Austin, underwent a double mastectomy.

The NDAD-sponsored benefit -- set for Wed., June 17, at the East Grand Forks (Minn.) Eagles Club from 4 to 8 p.m. -- will feature a taco-in-a-bag dinner and bake sale.

All proceeds will go to help Teresa, a longtime BMI resident apartment manager in Grand Forks.

A native of Langdon, N.D., Teresa was the youngest of three children. She is a 1991 Langdon Cardinal graduate and moved to the Grand Cities that year to attend Northland Community and Technical College in East Grand Forks. She graduated with a receptionist degree.

Teresa has worked as a BMI resident apartment manager since November 2004.

Teresa's siblings, Jeff and Jan, live in Minneapolis and Nebraska, respectively. Her mom, Carol, and several other relatives still live near Langdon.

Click the "Give Online" button that accompanies this specific post about Teresa to donate online and help her, using your credit card or PayPal account.

Or, you may donate by mail to help Teresa, using the address shown below.
Mail Donations For TERESA KAERCHER To:
c/o Teresa Kaercher
2660 S. Columbia Road
Grand Forks, ND 58201

Please make your check payable to NDAD and be sure to write "Teresa Kaercher" on your check''s memo line. Thank you.

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© North Dakota Association for the Disabled, Inc. 2015