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Help Derek Fight

$21,811 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 312 people in 2 months
Created November 6, 2018
Help Derek, a 10 year old who is in 5th grade and just diagnosed with a brain tumor on November 6th and his family by donating what you can. 

Donations will help defray medical costs, travel costs to Mayo Clinic in Rochester Minnesota, Hotel Costs as they await acceptance into the Ronald McDonald House, lost wages (his mother has only been paid 2 days since diagnosis) and household bills and more. 

Derek loves Dell Rapids and is a friend to everyone he meets. He loves his family, baseball, comics, and his dog Jeter. He hopes to be a teacher when he grows up, he just needs the chance.

Derek underwent surgery to remove a tumor from the base of his skull Wednesday Nov. 7th. The tumor was malignant. Derek has been diagnosed with Medulloblastoma. He will start 6 weeks of proton radiation therapy at Mayo Clinic of Rochester, Minnesota (4 hours from home) December 3rd.  Derek is looking at a minimum of a year of chemotherapy treatment to battle his cancer.  Any help you can give is appreciated. 

#fightDerekfight
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Update 68
Posted by Shane Gerlach
11 hours ago
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Life With Derek 1/19
"Don't ever challenge me, cuz' I will take that challenge"-Derek John Gerlach 7:25PM Saturday 1/19

Derek has been struggling with calories since we got home. The new routine is an adjustment to all of us. At the Ronald McDonald House we had all day to focus on Derek. Even though we have been home all together since returning there has been a house to organize, we have had visitors, a dog that needs attention...blah blah blah. We haven't been on Derek to push calories, to have little snacks and to stay on top of it. He popped a 99.6 fever yesterday and a 99.5 today. What we find is the fever breaks when he eats. If his body doesn't have enough calories he can't fight the fever. When he does have enough calories his body fights it off.
So tonight following supper he was significantly short of calories. Tears started flowing and Donelle and I assured him that we were more at fault than he was. We asked that he try to get more calories in today, which brings me to his quote at the start.
Since supper he has eaten a Cottage Wheat Peanut Butter and Honey sandwich that has over 500 calories.
Today was a nice day. It was great to have Tara 'Sanger' Baker bring Ryan in to see Derek. They had a great time today and that does my heart such good to hear them playing and laughing.
Tomorrow we hope to do little to nothing, maybe some laundry, put a few things into totes that Derek has decided to set aside right now and get them stored. I just will pretend that my basement is perfectly organized, unlike what is really happening down there and then my OCD won't be triggered.

How can you continue to help?

*Buy a #fightDerekfight T-Shirts Too in Flandreau. Contact TshirtsTooPersonalization@gmail.com and Deb Feske will set you up.
*Stop at Vishnu Bunny Tattoo and grab a #fightDerekfight window decal for $5.00 or free will donation.
*Stop at Rivercity Tool & Pawn in Yankton and see Kevin Haug and grab a #fightDerekfight wrist band for $3.00 or free will donation.
*Stop at Pizza Ranch (Dell Rapids, SD) and grab a #fightDerekfight wrist band for $3.00 or free will donation.
*Stop at Bread & Circus Sandwich Kitchen and see Barry Putzke for a #fightDerekfight wrist band for $3.00 or free will donation.
*Stop at Bar X Bar Flandreau and see Kim Hansen and Glenda Hansen for a #fightDerekfight wrist band for $3.00 or free will donation.
*You can donate at any Wells Fargo Bank and make a direct donation to the Derek Gerlach Charity Fund.
*Attend Plains Speaking People - Stories For A Cause at The Crystal Theatre on January 25th.
* Contact Jamie Gasparr of J's Cupcakes to order your #fightDerekfight cupcakes that will be available on the 25th.
* Attend the Comedy Fundraiser for Derek Gerlach at Boss' Comedy on February 9th.
*Become a part of Derek's Defenders for Sioux Falls St. Baldrick's and help us meet our $200.00 goal. Go to the link and click on the "Join me" box. www.stbaldricks.org/participants/DereksDefenders
* Attend 13th Annual Sioux Falls St. Baldrick's on March 14th at Pizza Ranch (Fun Zone – Sioux Falls W 41st)
*Give to Derek's Honored Kid fund www.stbaldricks.org/kids/fightDerekfight
*Donate to the Go Fund Me Account linked here.

*Prayers, Love and positive thoughts are always appreciated.
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Update 67
Posted by Shane Gerlach
1 day ago
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Life with Derek 12/17 and 12/18

Sorry we didn't get an update up yesterday. It was a very busy day. Attempting to clean and organize a house from 7 weeks of us being away has taken up a ton of time.
Donelle met with Derek's teachers and principal yesterday to come up with a plan for his education.
Nicole Griffith of KDLT News was here in the afternoon to do a story about Derek. (you can see the story on their Facebook page).
The outpouring over the last two days since coming home has been amazing.
We were buried in snow today, but Derek felt well enough to get a visit from his buddy Luke. It was great to watch them just fall into their easy routine of friendship.
Donelle and I managed to get the shoveling done but not much else today, not as much as we should have.
Derek's team from Sanford called and we are starting to get appointments set up already with them again.
We gathered around the radio to hear Mike Henriksen talk to Lori Byers Walsh on SDPB Radio about Derek's story and the upcoming Plains Speaking People event. You can listen to that here ( http://www.tinyurl.com/y9vkwkd4)
A reminder to please call or text before visiting and please if you are not feeling well wait to visit.

How can you continue to help?

*Buy a #fightDerekfight T-Shirts Too in Flandreau. Contact TshirtsTooPersonalization@gmail.com and Deb Feske will set you up.
*Stop at Vishnu Bunny Tattoo and grab a #fightDerekfight window decal for $5.00 or free will donation.
*Stop at Rivercity Tool & Pawn in Yankton and see Kevin Haug and grab a #fightDerekfight wrist band for $3.00 or free will donation.
*Stop at Pizza Ranch (Dell Rapids, SD)and grab a #fightDerekfight wrist band for $3.00 or free will donation.
*Stop at Bread & Circus Sandwich Kitchen and see Barry Putzke for a #fightDerekfight wrist band for $3.00 or free will donation.
*Stop at Bar X Bar Flandreau and see Kim Hansen and Glenda Hansen for a #fightDerekfight wrist band for $3.00 or free will donation.
*You can donate at any Wells Fargo Bank and make a direct donation to the Derek Gerlach Charity Fund.
*Attend Plains Speaking People - Stories For A Cause at The Crystal Theatre on January 25th. (See Story here: https://www.moodycountyenterprise.com/article/storytelling-fundraiser-planned-for-cancer-patient)
* Contact Jamie Gaspar of J's Cupcakes to order your #fightDerekfight cupcakes that will be available on the 25th.
* Attend the Comedy Fundraiser for Derek Gerlach at Boss' Comedy on February 9th.
*Become a part of Derek's Defenders for Sioux Falls St. Baldrick's and help us meet our $200.00 goal. Go to the link and click on the Join me box. stbaldricks.org/participants/DereksDefenders
* Attend 13th Annual Sioux Falls St. Baldrick's on March 14th at Pizza Ranch (Fun Zone – Sioux Falls W 41st)
*Give to Derek's Honored Kid fund stbaldricks.org/kids/fightDerekfight
*Donate to the Go Fund Me Account linked here.

*Prayers, Love and positive thoughts are always appreciated.
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Update 66
Posted by Shane Gerlach
3 days ago
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Life with Derek 1/16/19

We are home.
We are happy.
We are safe.
The Dog is home.
We have at least the clothes and toiletries put away. The rest can wait.
All that matters is we are home.
Very emotional day for all of us. On top of this being the last day we received an amazing message from Mayo on our way home. Derek's levels are increasing.
All is good. The boy and his dog are in bed listening to Donelle read Harry Potter.
Please call or text before you visit. Please don't visit if you don't feel well. If Derek's strength continues we hope he will be able to go back to school for a bit next week. We really want to take advantage of this 4 week break from treatment and feel as normal as possible.

How can you continue to help?

*Buy a #fightDerekfight T-Shirts Too in Flandreau. Contact TshirtsTooPersonalization@gmail.com and Deb Feske will set you up.
*Stop at Vishnu Bunny Tattoo and grab a #fightDerekfight window decal for $5.00 or free will donation.
*Stop at Rivercity Tool & Pawn in Yankton and see Kevin Haug and grab a #fightDerekfight wrist band for $3.00 or free will donation.
*Stop at Pizza Ranch (Dell Rapids, SD) and grab a #fightDerekfight wrist band for $3.00 or free will donation.
*Stop at Bread & Circus Sandwich Kitchen and see Barry Putzke for a #fightDerekfight wrist band for $3.00 or free will donation.
*Stop at Bar X Bar Flandreau and see Kim Hansen and Glenda Hansen for a #fightDerekfight wrist band for $3.00 or free will donation.
*You can donate at any Wells Fargo Bank and make a direct donation to the Derek Gerlach Charity Fund.
*Attend Plains Speaking People - Stories For A Cause at The Crystal Theatre on January 25th. (See Story here: https://moodycountyenterprise.com/article/storytelling-fundraiser-planned-for-cancer-patient)
* Contact Jamie Gaspar of J's Cupcakes to order your #fightDerekfight cupcakes that will be available on the 25th.
*Donate to the Go Fund Me Account linked here.

*Prayers, Love and positive thoughts are always appreciated.

Love Shane, Donelle and Derek
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Update 65
Posted by Shane Gerlach
4 days ago
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Life with Derek 1/15/19

The next chapter of Derek's story will be written from home. Today Derek had his second to last radiation treatment, we saw his social worker Mary for the last time and were back at the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester, Minnesota, Inc by 10:30. This was even with the added time of Derek being professionally photographed today in the kids waiting room. Randy, the child life advocate, asked if Derek would be willing to be a part of a campaign talking about Proton Therapy to be used by the brand new president of Mayo Clinic. We left it to Derek and he said yes.
Today we packed as much as we possibly could and filled the car. Tomorrow it will just be a couple of bags when we return from Derek's last radiation treatment to check out. Then we will be on I-90 and on our way.
I'm going to run out early in the morning to gas the car, grab a Caribou Coffee, and a couple gifts for the reception ladies that have been so kind and encouraging to Derek throughout this journey while Donelle helps Derek get ready. 8:30 Blood Draw and 9:15 Radiation.
We had our last community meal at RMH tonight. We visited with our neighbors one last time. We are pulling for Ruthie and her recovery. This afternoon we were able to visit with Emersyn and Kelly a bit, we are so excited that they are taking steps to returning home as well. Kelly has been a bit of sanity for both Donelle and I at different times throughout this always there with an ear, some advice and a smile.
Derek returned his gifts that he borrowed from our friends Jason, Eli and Samantha. We arrived at RMH around the same time they did. They were the first family I visited with. We are excited to know that all is going well for Eli.
We will miss them all, we'll miss the amazing volunteers and staff at RMH, we'll miss the game room and our perfect view Second Street Waving Guy—Joe Johnson, but that won't keep us from leaving.
We will forever remember every story we heard here and RMH Rochester will hold a special place in our hearts as this is where Derek's recovery journey took shape.
Dell Rapids I hope you are ready for us. We're excited to be in the house as a family for the first time since the first week of December, Derek cannot wait to see his dog, we want to sleep in our own beds and just be comforted by being home for the rest of the week together before the craziness sets in.
We will probably be calling on some of you to help with care for Derek as we adjust to what, where, who and how of this new life. He will go to school when he can; but currently his blood levels are too low for him to be around that many kids.
We will figure that all out.
Our last sleep in room 315 at the Ronald McDonald House of Rochester, Minnesota, Inc. The boy and wife are already snoring. I think i'll join them...

How can you continue to help?

*Buy a #fightDerekfight T-Shirts Too in Flandreau. Contact TshirtsTooPersonalization@gmail.com and Deb Feske will set you up.
*Stop at Vishnu Bunny Tattoo and grab a #fightDerekfight window decal for $5.00 or free will donation.
*Stop at Rivercity Tool & Pawn in Yankton and see Kevin Haug and grab a #fightDerekfight wrist band for $3.00 or free will donation.
*Stop at Pizza Ranch (Dell Rapids, SD) and grab a #fightDerekfight wrist band for $3.00 or free will donation.
*Stop at Bread & Circus Sandwich Kitchen and see Barry Putzke for a #fightDerekfight wrist band for $3.00 or free will donation.
*Stop at Bar X Bar Flandreau and see Kim Hansen and Glenda Hansen for a #fightDerekfight wrist band for $3.00 or free will donation.
*You can donate at any Wells Fargo Bank and make a direct donation to the Derek Gerlach Charity Fund.
*Attend Plains Speaking People - Stories For A Cause at The Crystal Theatre on January 25th.
* Contact Jamie Gasparr of J's Cupcakes to order your #fightDerekfight cupcakes that will be available on the 25th.
*Donate to the Go Fund Me Account linked here.

*Prayers, Love and positive thoughts are always appreciated.

Love Shane, Donelle and Derek
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$21,811 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 312 people in 2 months
Created November 6, 2018
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