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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.

MARK KOLLER
Give OnlineMark Koller of Grand Forks is no stranger to health challenges, and now he faces his greatest one yet – one that has prompted friends and family to plan a Feb. 13 benefit on his behalf.

About 20 years ago, Koller, 52, was placed on blood thinners to help accommodate an aortic valve replacement in his heart. Since then, he’s had his blood levels checked on a monthly basis.

One such check in November 2015 revealed that his blood levels were dangerously high.

Mark soon was admitted to a hospital, where tests revealed he had a mass on his pancreas.

A trip to the Mayo Clinic medical complex in Rochester, Minn., followed, as did numerous medical tests , hospitalizations and procedures – complicated by Mark’s heart valve replacement and blood levels.

He developed pancreatitis in Rochester and was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma, a cancer formed from glandular structures in epithelial tissue, which lines the surfaces and cavities of the body’s organs. A malignancy had formed on his pancreas.

Because of his diagnosis, Mark is unable to work at his job as a Transystems truck driver and trainer. He’s required to under chemotherapy and will return to Mayo Clinic for surgery and medical care on an ongoing basis.

Mark is married to Susan Koller, and they have four adult children and four grandchildren between them. Mark, a former longtime mechanic for Rydell Auto, spent the first part of his life in the Glen Ullin, N.D., area before moving to Grand Forks about 30 years ago.

Meanwhile, work continues to prepare for the Sat., Feb. 13, benefit at the East Grand Forks (Minn.) Eagles Club. Event plans call for $5 sloppy joe meal, plus a silent auction, bake sale, 50-50 raffle and music provided by deejay Robert Benda. Organizers also will sell $2 “Mark’s Mission” bracelets – each the color purple to represent cancer of the pancreas. Freewill offerings also are welcomed.

Donations to help Mark are being accepted online at http://www.ndad.org/fundraisers.asp. Click on the “Give Online” button that accompanies this article and benefit poster, and use your PayPal account or credit card to make the donation.

Or, you may mail your donation to NDAD, c/o Mark Koller Fundraiser, 2660 S. Columbia Road, Grand Forks, ND 58201. Please make your check payable to NDAD and be sure to write “Mark Koller” on your check’s memo line.

All proceeds will be used toward helping Mark Koller with medical and general expenses.

The event is sponsored by NDAD, through its free Community Fundraisers Program, and also by Thrivent Financial. Learn more about NDAD’s role and the program by calling (800) 532-NDAD (-6323).

Mail Donations For MARK KOLLER To:
NDAD
c/o Mark Koller Fundraiser
2660 S. Columbia Road
Grand Forks, ND 58201

Please make checks payable to NDAD and be sure to write "Mark Koller" on your check's memo line.

All proceeds will go toward helping Mark with medical and general expenses.

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EVERLY PETERSON
Give OnlineNOTE: The benefit for Everly Anne Peterson has been held, but the fund remains open for donations.

After 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:
NDAD
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.

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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.
KRISTIN EINARSON ROSENTHAL
Give OnlineNOTE: The benefit for Kristin Rosenthal has been held, but donations continue to be accepted at the NDAD fund set up for Kristin and her family.

Life for Kristin Rosenthal took a dramatic turn toward the difficult in late November 2015.

Nov. 22 was supposed to one of the best days in the Grand Forks woman’s 40 years of life. It was the day of her daughter Emerson’s 8th birthday party.

Instead, Kristin injured both knees when she landed “totally wrong” while jumping on a trampoline at the party site.

Now, as Kristin struggles to recover from major surgeries on both knees, a benefit is set for Sat., Jan. 23, at the East Grand Forks Eagles Club to help her deal with medical and general expenses. The benefit is set for 3 to 6 p.m. that day, and plans include a freewill-offering meal of pulled pork, cole slaw and beans, and a bake sale and silent auction.

Proceeds from the benefit, which is sponsored by NDAD, will go to help Kristin and her family with her medical and general expenses. Thrivent Financial also is a sponsor.

Kristin is a visitation supervisor for Grand Forks County Social Services, but has been unable to work since the accident. Her husband, Dave, works for Rydell’s.

In her first surgery after the accident, Kristin put an external fixator on her right leg, where her knee dislocated, to keep it straight. Her left knee dislocated, too, but had gone back into place. But Kristin knew something was wrong with that knee, too, and told her medical team as much. A subsequent MRI revealed that both knees needed total rebuilding, she recalled. The hospital surgeon told her that she would be OK but only after at least a year.

Kristin soon was accepted at the University of Minnesota Medical Center in Minneapolis and transported by ambulance Nov. 30, while her husband, Dave Rosenthal, remained home to care for their daughter.

Kristin’s parents, Einar and Elaine Einarson, came to the Twin Cities to be with her.

Kristin’s U of M surgeon “continually stressed how big these two surgeries were going to be. He would harvest part of Kristin’s hamstring for her anterior cruciate ligaments on both knees and then use cadaver parts to rebuild them, she learned.

Her left knee was rebuilt Dec. 1, and her right knee Dec. 9. She was left weak and in pain with an uncertain outlook, she recalled.

“The surgeon stated that he hasn’t seen where someone had damaged both of their knees at the same time,” Kristin recalled.

While she learned that it takes, on average, six to eight weeks for toe-touch weight bearing on a leg with a rebuilt knee, she had two knees to be concerned about. Both of her knees were locked in extension by braces. She was challenged to adapt to perform simple daily tasks.

On Dec. 17, after Kristin learned how to perform standing transfers and range of motion maneuvers, within certain guidelines, in occupational and physical therapies, she was released from the U of M hospital.

Kristin had worked with NDAD and used its short-term adaptive equipment loan program in an effort to ensure a temporary residence at her parents’ Grand Forks home would work for her. “We live in an older home where the doorways were too small and I would be wheelchair-dependent for an uncertain amount of time,” she explained.

But she didn’t go to live with her parents immediately. Kristin’s insurance finally approved her for seven days at Valley Memorial’s transitional care unit (TCU), but her insurer overturned an earlier decision to pay for transportation back from the Twin Cities to Grand Forks, “a huge expense out of pocket,” she said.

“Being at the TCU allowed me to get stronger and continue with PT and OT,” Kristin said. “We focused on things that I would need to overcome when I got to my parents’ home.”

Kristin, who friends and family members say is known for taking care of others who have been in need, says she’s faced continued frustration having to advocate for herself with her insurance provider, mostly recently “as they continue to deny medication that is crucial to my recovery and health.”

Fortunately, she said, her friends and relatives have been great support, she said.

You can help Kristin by clicking the “Give Online” button that accompanies this story and donate using PayPal or your credit card. Or, you can mail or deliver your donation to the following address:

NDAD
c/o Kristin Rosenthal Fundraiser
2660 S. Columbia Road
Grand Forks, ND 58201

Please make your check payable to NDAD and be sure to write “Kristin Rosenthal” on your check’s memo line. Again, your full donation will be used to help Kristin and her family.

The fundraiser is sponsored by NDAD through its free Community Fundraisers Program. Learn more about it by calling (800) 532-NDAD.





Mail Donations For KRISTIN EINARSON ROSENTHAL To:
NDAD
c/o Kristin Rosenthal Fundraiser
2660 S. Columbia Road
Grand Forks ND 58201

Please make your check payable to NDAD and be sure to write “Kristin Rosenthal” on your check’s memo line. Again, your full donation will be used to help Kristin and her family.

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RYLIE HEISLER
Give Online(NOTE: The benefit for Rylie Heisler was held Jan. 30, but the NDAD fund collecting donations for the Heisler family remains open.)

Rylie Heisler is a senior at East Grand Forks (Minn.) Senior High School.

She has been diagnosed with osteosarcoma bone cancer and is undergoing treatment, which includes chemotherapy and surgery.

Rylie is the daughter of Dee and Doug Heisler and the sister of Hadyn Heisler.

Rylie is the type of person who works hard, is always willing to help others and wears a smile daily.

A benefit will be held Sat., Jan. 30, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the East Grand Forks American Legion, 1009 Central Ave. N.W. The benefit will feature a freewill-offering taco bar, plus live and silent auctions, a bake sale and live music by Dan the Dance Man.

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

People also can donate at East Grand Forks Senior High.

You also can make a donation at NDAD.org on this very page by clicking the "Give Online" button and using your PayPal account or credit card to make a donation.

Or, you may mail a donation to NDAD, c/o. Rylie Heisler Fundraiser, 2660 S. Columbia Road, Grand Forks, ND 58201. Please make checks payable to NDAD and be sure to write "Rylie Heisler" on your check''s memo line.

The fundraiser for Rylie Heisler is sponsored by NDAD through its free Community Fundraisers Program. Learn more about it by calling NDAD at (800) 532-NDAD (-6323).
Mail Donations For RYLIE HEISLER To:
NDAD
c/o Rylie Heisler Fundraiser
2660 S. Columbia Road
Grand Forks, ND 58201

Please write your check to NDAD and be sure to write "Rylie Heisler" on your check''s memo line. Thank you.

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ADAM DAHL
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:
NDAD
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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RICK GESSLER
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:
NDAD
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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STEVE HUNT
Give OnlineNOTE: The benefit for Steve Hunt was held May 2, 2015, 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:
NDAD
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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© North Dakota Association for the Disabled, Inc. 2016