50 Reasons to Care

1. Aeryn DeKrey of Grand Forks- In May of 2014, at a very young age of three, Aeryn DeKrey’s parents learned that their daughter had Acute Myeloid Leukemia

2. Ashton Graf of Bismarck- Ashton is a tough, rambunctious three-year-old. He’s always had a high pain tolerance. Saturday, February 22 was his older sister’s eighth birthday party. Ashton ran and played hard and when he complained of pain in his legs the next morning

3. Brayden Goehring of Herreid- Brayden found a lump in his groin on September 21, 2017. After an ultrasound, Brayden’s case was escalated to a surgeon who performed surgery and sent his biopsy to Mayo Clinic for testing. Brayden’s family received a call two days later saying that they had to immediately return to Fargo

4. Charlie Wanzek of Hazen- Have you ever imagined blasting off for outer space, looking at Earth from the Space Station or maybe even walking on the moon? What about having a desire to possibly be a part of building a space shuttle? You may have never shared these dreams, but ten-year-old Charlie Wanzek of Hazen has! Charlie has dreams of becoming an astronaut

5. Chase Jones of Granville- It started as a sore ankle just a couple of days before Halloween in 2016, but after a trip to the doctor didn’t reveal anything obvious, Chase experienced a steady progression of excruciating pain, to the point of not being able to walk. Bloodwork that was done during a return trip to the doctor yielded an alarming result

6. Cooper Peterson of Lincoln- Cooper, now almost six, from Lincoln, was diagnosed in February of 2015 with a brain tumor called bilateral optic glioma/diffuse fibrillary astrocytoma, that started on his optic nerves of both eyes and travelled through much of his brain

7. Cully Oothoudt of Mandan- Cullen Oothoudt of Mandan had hardly turned three-years-old when his parents noticed that he had been stumbling and had also thrown up a few times. His parents took him to his pediatrician who did an exam and ordered a CT scan

8. Dash Ohlsen of Bismarck- Dash is a 13-year-old cancer survivor. He was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) shortly after his seventh birthday

9. David Sickler of Mandan- On January 16, 2004, the Sickler family was told something unimaginable. They were told that their son, David, was going to pass away, it was only a matter of when

10. Elin Hoescht of Bismarck- It was the 4th of July of this past year when a bump was felt while her mom, Anne, was wiping Elin’s mouth. After testing in Bismarck, she and her family headed to Minneapolis. There Elin was diagnosed with the extremely rare Ewing’s sarcoma

11. Emersyn Decker of Bismarck- At six-years-old, a child is typically focused on the basics such as friends, toys, and birthday parties. The last thing that would likely ever enter their mind is cancer

12. Emma Basting of Thompson- Meet Emma, age four, of Thompson. Emma is a shopper. In fact, it’s her favorite hobby. She’s also a competitor. At her young age, she’s already competed in a wheelchair track meet. This spring she will be joining a wheelchair soccer league

13. Emma Wheeler of Bismarck- Imagine having your child diagnosed with two deadly diseases in a month’s time. That is what happened to the Wheeler family

14. Grace Bittner of Dickinson- People who knew and loved Grace understood that she functioned on “Grace pace”, always showed people to “LIVE SIMPLE” and had a beautiful soul to “LOVE BIG”. She was diagnosed with Optic Pathway/Hypothalamic Glioma

15. Grantley Johnson of Fargo- In April of 2018, Grantley’s parents, Leah and Jordan of Fargo, brought him to the doctor for a rash that wasn’t going away. They were told it was an allergic reaction and suggested that he take Benadryl for a few days. By the next morning, the rash had spread over his entire body

16. Haley Schallmo of Dickinson- Sixteen-year-old Haley Schallmo of Dickinson, ND was born a fighter, as she was faced with heart issues very early in life. That doesn’t mean that she was any more prepared when her life changed in May of 2016 at age 12 when she was diagnosed with B-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia

17. Haylee Jo Jundt of Rugby- Fourteen-year-old Haylee of Rugby is pretty unstoppable on the ice. Even with the obstacles that have been thrown at her, Haylee has shown determination to continue playing. In October of 2018, she was diagnosed with stage 2a Hodgkin’s lymphoma

18. Hunter Seifert of Bismarck- Football, golf, the Miami Dolphins, the Chicago Cubs, Skittles, Wendy’s 4 for $4, faith, family, and friends; these are just a few of the things that Hunter loved! Hunter and his parents knew something was wrong when he was having trouble running the field for football practice, started falling asleep in class, and had a backache that wouldn’t go away

19. Ian Vesey of Billings County- North Dakota ranch life is what concerns 11-year-old Ian. He lives in a remote area of Billings County, between Grassy Butte and Fairfield. Roping and riding is how his days were spent. Then in August of 2018, he was diagnosed with stage IV CNS neuroblastoma

20. Jacielyn Delorme of Belcourt- Jacielyn Delorme is a courageous seven-year-old cancer survivor from Belcourt. In December of 2016, at the age of three, she was diagnosed with Wilm’s Tumor

21. Jacob Petermann of Wahpeton- For Jacob a typical warm-up before a basketball game in January of 2018 turned into the fight of a lifetime. After a practice layup, he fell to the ground. A trip to the hospital in Devils Lake revealed that he had broken his femur

22. Jadyn Keller of Harvey- Jadyn, had hurt his elbow. Danyl, his mom, brought him to Bismarck to have it checked. A doctor that was newly hired looked at Jadyn and found that he had injured his elbow, but the pediatrician just couldn’t quite shake the idea that there might be something else going on

23. Jamison Bogren of Bismarck- Jamison was a typical high school senior hanging out with his friends, working part-time in a construction job, and trying to figure out what he wanted to pursue as a career after he graduated. But, he was sleeping too much

24. Jeffrey Trones of Williston- Cancer has taken a few swings at Jeffrey, of Williston, but Jeffrey has a quick dodge and a stronger left hook. In August of 2014, at the age of nine, he was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma in his left heel bone

25. Jerry Stewart of Williston- Jerry’s parents had no idea what lurked beneath the surface of their rambunctious, fun-loving, four-year-old son. Jer or JerBear, as his family calls him, had bright red hair and an ability to draw people together. He laughed easily, played hard

26. Jessly Beckstrand of Warwick- Jessly is a courageous 19-month-old from Warwick. She was diagnosed in May of last year with grade three diffuse infiltrating astrocytoma

27. Jillian Nordsven of Bismarck- Most of us remember that feeling of intense love when their newborn baby is first placed in their arms. The majority of parents get to bask in the healthy glow of their child and watch them grow and reach milestones as expected. Did you know that an infant can be born with cancer? That was the situation that the Nordsven family faced when their daughter, was diagnosed with bilateral retinoblastoma

28. John Freer of Langdon- At just three and a half, John was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a cancer in nerve tissue in the adrenal gland, neck, chest or spinal cord

29. Jurnee Rust of Minot- There has been a lot that life has thrown at Jurnee of Minot, but she never lets her medical issues get her down. She is a joy to be around and enjoys cooking, drawing and doing science experiments

30. Kali Grace Coffey of Menoken- Kali Grace will be forever 3 ½ years-old. This sweet girl was diagnosed with an ependymoma brain tumor

31. Karee Jo Garmann of Watford City- Karee Jo, was diagnosed with pluropulmonary blastoma in January of 2013 at only eight-years-old. She endured 14 months of chemotherapy. Treatment was successful and Karee Jo was considered in remission, but after nine-months of being cancer-free, she relapsed in December 2014

32. Kleigha Guthmiller of Bismarck- Kleigha is a courageous cancer fighter from Bismarck. She was diagnosed with neuroblastoma the day after her first birthday in June of 2016

33. Kyle White of Sturgis- Our favorite tattooed little preschooler is Kyle. Kyle had to get dots permanently tattooed on parts of his body for radiation treatment. They are tiny dots that are hard to find, but his favorite thing to tell people is that he has tattoos

34. Landon Labine of Warren- Landon was only two when he was diagnosed with an astrocytoma in February of 2013. The tumor was embedded in his brain stem

35. Leighton Backhaus of Bismarck- In August of 2010, at the age of four, Leighton was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Leighton responded well to treatment and is continuing to do great today

36. Levi Gartner of Menoken- Levi loves tractors and playing itty bitty baseball. He also has hearing loss and goes to physical and speech therapy because of the effects of chemotherapy on his body

37. LJ Wells of Granville- In July of 2018, LJ Wells was diagnosed with adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC). ACC is extremely rare with only one person in one million being affected in the United States per year

38. Mason Stehley of Minot- Meet Mason. His favorite color is orange. In fact, he even dyed his hair orange for Leukemia Awareness Month in September, and loved it so much, he kept it. In keeping with love of all things orange, his favorite team is the Cincinnati Bengals

39. Meryl Sharp of Bismarck- Sometimes we forget how quickly life can change. Ten-year-old Meryl, who had lived in Lincoln, but recently moved to Bismarck, was an exceptionally intelligent, healthy and active girl. And then her family noticed her balance was off

40. Mia Thinnes of Bismarck- In 2010, shortly before turning six, Mia began to get severe headaches that would cause her to be sick and miss several days of school. Since they run in her family, it was assumed that migraines were the problem

41. Mya Noreen of Fargo- When Mya grows up, she wants to be a doctor by day, firefighter by night. When she’s not chasing fires, she’s a loving sister who likes to be a mama bear to her siblings

42. Myles Allen of West Fargo- We’ve never met an honoree more dapper than seven-year-old Myles from West Fargo. He ALWAYS had to look “handsome” from the top of his head down to his feet

43. Oskar Binkard of Fargo- Back in 2017, little Oskar was having night sweats and was in and out of the walk-in clinic. After dealing with a cold that refused to go away and leg pain that progressively worsened, Oskar and his family made one more trip to the walk-in. Little did they know, this trip would change their lives

44. Phoenix Ellis of Minot- Phoenix was a naturally gifted musician. He taught himself how to read sheet music and played the saxophone and piano. He was also intrigued by geography; particularly maps, cities, populations and interesting facts about each state. His future was bright, but cancer didn’t care

46. Ryker Wallace of Wilton- Severe headaches were an ongoing issue for eight-year-old Ryker. His parents, D.j. and Ashley, knew there must be something that was causing them. Then in April of 2016, he started to throw up in the morning hours

47. Silas Rehbein of Dickinson- For four-year-old Silas of Dickinson, it all started with a fever and symptoms of the flu. Things took a turn for the worse when Silas developed a bloody nose that would not stop. When he began vomiting blood, his parents knew that it was time to act

48. Sky Stevens of Bismarck- Glitter, unicorns, bugs, and rainbows! These are a few things that Sky Stevens loved! Sky was diagnosed with DIPG, a tumor in the brain stem, in April of 2015

49. William Moran of Lincoln- William, age six of Lincoln, was diagnosed with medulloblastoma in June of 2018

50. Zach Deem of Fargo- Zachariah was a typical 14-year-old just getting his summer started when out of nowhere, he felt like he had come down with the flu. After the next few days of high fevers and not keeping any food down, Zach visited the ER

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