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Help Derek Fight

$22,041 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 319 people in 3 months
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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Life with Derek 2/13/19

Derek has been feeling amazing. I wish that the whooping cough would not have hit the Dell Rapids School district because he was well enough to be in class with his friends; but we just couldn't risk it with his immune system.

It's funny how quickly kids adjust. He takes his own temperature, he asks about his calories, he requests higher calorie meals..he has become his own little expert.
We were surprised and touched by the amazing gesture by the students and staff at Dell Rapids Elementary.

Tomorrow we begin round one of Chemotherapy. Tomorrow is the easy day. Blood test at the castle and then off to Audiology testing. One of the side effects of the chemotherapy is Derek losing his hearing. Before every round he will undergo a hearing test to compare.
Perspective and circumstance change so much. 4 months ago the thought of my son losing his hearing would have been crippling to me. Now...well if hearing loss is the worst that comes of this journey then we will count ourselves lucky.
Friday Derek checks in to the Castle to begin 3 different chemo drugs.

Dammit that was hard to type.

Our 11 year old boy starts 3 different chemo medications on Friday. Donelle Gerlach and I don't know what to expect but we are hopeful that he will respond to the heavy chemo as well as he did to Radiation and the light chemo. Saturday he takes his "Cancer Pill Then, if he responded well to all we will come home on Saturday.
Donelle will be there will him all day on Friday. I'm going to be there for check in and then run to work to take care of my therapy group and clean up paperwork, then it's back to the castle.

Thank you again to Tara and Marsha for being our caretakers this week. Thank you to Mike, Matt, Dustin and Brian for joining Derek's Defenders.

Happy Valentines everyone. Hug the ones you love.

How can you continue to help?

* Keep doing the little things we are too tired or proud to ask for. Shoveling, dog walking, care taking, etc etc

*Attend the Community Waffle Feed and Silent Auction for Derek at Lutheran Church of Dell Rapids on March 3rd from 8:30 to 1:30.

*Buy a #fightDerekfight from 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, Pizza Ranch (Dell Rapids, SD) Bar X Bar Flandreau or Bread & Circus Sandwich Kitchen Sioux Falls for your #FightDerekFight wristband.

*You can donate at any Wells Fargo Bank and make a direct donation to the Derek Gerlach Charity Fund.

* Attend 13th Annual Sioux Falls St. Baldrick's on March 14th at Pizza Ranch (Fun Zone – Sioux Falls W 41st)

*Become a part of Derek's Defenders for Sioux Falls St. Baldrick's and help us meet our $1000.00 goal. Go to the link and click on the "Join me" box.
www.stbaldricks.org/participants/DereksDefenders

*Give to Derek's St. Baldrick's Honored Kids & Families fund at www.stbaldricks.org/kids/fightDerekfight

*Donate to the Go Fund Me Account linked below.

*Prayers, Love and positive thoughts are always appreciated.

Derek, Donelle, and Shane
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Life with Derek 2/6/19

Our life these last 15 months has been one constant roller coaster of emotions; from Donelle's breast cancer diagnosis and surgery through all we have gone through with Derek. There are continuous ups and downs, there is joy in the normal and irritations in what was not long ago so easily handled. Small acts of kindness make us cry and large gestures overwhelm us. Today was a perfect example of that.

Today Derek went back to school. He was so proud and excited to go back. His teachers Kelley Gruneich, Natalie Eggers and Brady Lesnar sanitized their classrooms for him. I was so touched by that little extra they did to keep Derek safe. I shouldn't be surprised they have been simply amazing support for Derek. We are so blessed to have them as part of this journey.
So there is that excitement and pride and then BOOM! Whooping Cough case in the school district. Derek can't go back now. He's back to home schooling. Our goals of school until next Thursday when he has blood test for his first round of Chemo are shot to hell.

Make-A-Wish South Dakota is working overtime to make Derek's wish trip special, they are so accommodating and wonderful. I can't wait for the reveal of his wish. We are keeping Derek (and all of you) completely in the dark. They are working so hard for Derek. And then there is the fear that he could be too sick to take the trip...

Friends, acquaintances, businesses continue to lift us up with gifts that help to lift the burden we are faced with. We talked at supper tonight about the money saved just from the Symens, Baker's and Hebert's have saved us just in kenneling fees.

Paul Zweifel and Dane Yde both reached out with gestures of kindness and good will, both at times when I needed them most, and they are are just two of the many who do that daily.

I'm going to be a little selfish here. Today was a very emotional day for me. Going back to work has been a difficult transition for me. Doing the counseling, I feel refreshed and more invested than I have been in a few months. Carrying so many clients the middle of last year and working 4 nights a week in the middle of SiouxperCon planning and testing and everything else was wearing on me. Derek's sickness is not how I wanted to refuel but that is one small benefit, I am professionally recharged. But the transition back hasn't been smooth.
I am very emotionally raw right now. I may not be the one who has been diagnosed with cancer in the last 15 months but the two people I love more than anyone else in the world have been. It's hard to explain what having your heart ripped out actually feels like, let alone have it happen twice.
It's hard to explain what bone chilling fear feels like unless you have experienced it.
It is hard to describe what paralyzing helplessness does to a person who is so used to giving and fixing and helping does to a persons sleep patterns, confidence, stability and emotions unless you have lived it.
I deflect well...until I don't.
I cope well until I can't.
I hide pain like a champ until the facade breaks.
I'm not typing this for pity at all...just more a therapy session. I feel like I'm in a remake of the Book of Job.
But we carry on. We do what we must. We all do.

Derek is looking better and acting more himself. I am so glad he is showing new signs of strength before the Chemo starts next week. I'm petrified of what the poison they will be pumping into my son to make him better will do to him. But I'll do my best to never show him that doubt.

The battle carries on, we need our army. We may not ask as loudly as we should, but Donelle and Derek and I need you all. These last few weeks as we have gotten a sense of normal back have been refreshing, but they are an illusion. Our 11 year old has cancer. His mother is a year away from double mastectomy for breast cancer and his father is tired. Our normal isn't normal at all, but it's the life we live now.

How can you continue to help?

* Keep doing the little things we are too tired or proud to ask for. Shoveling, dog walking, care taking, etc etc

* Attend @Comedy Fundraiser for Derek Gerlach at Boss' Comedy on February 9th.

*Attend the Waffle Feed and Silent Auction at Lutheran Church of Dell Rapids on March 3rd from 8:30 to 1:30.

*Buy a #fightDerekfight from 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, Pizza Ranch (Dell Rapids, SD), Bar X Bar Flandreau or Bread & Circus Sandwich Kitchen Sioux Falls for your #FightDerekFight wristband.

*You can donate at any Wells Fargo Bank and make a direct donation to the Derek Gerlach Charity Fund.

* Attend 13th Annual Sioux Falls St. Baldrick's on March 14th at Pizza Ranch (Fun Zone – Sioux Falls W 41st)

*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

*Give to Derek's St. Baldrick's Honored Kids & Families fund at www.stbaldricks.org/kids/fightDerekfight

*Donate to the Go Fund Me Account linked below.

*Prayers, Love and positive thoughts are always appreciated.

Derek, Donelle, and Shane
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Life with Derek Superbowl Sunday

Derek had an up and down week and I think this will be the reality of our lives for the next year. The biggest issue we face now is the fevers. We fight that almost daily. He runs a constant low grade fever, we just have to be hyper aware that he not hit 100.4. The crappy thing is we can't give any medicine to break the fever because we NEED to know his temp.
He spent time with Tara and Marsha Symens during the week. The cold kept him from school last week, but we have a plan to return this week. Derek really misses school.
He broke out his Harry Potter Coding Wand from Michelle Gerlach Robb. I'm just amazing at how advanced kids are. Derek has to code each spell that he does with his wand. The spells show up on his pad. It's really cool.
Yesterday he had a really rough morning and afternoon that got a lot better when the fiber gummies kicked in but maybe even better than that his "funcle" Toby came to see us.
Then today his friend @Kristi came to visit him and brought a very special gift. Virginia DeBates learned that Derek is a Denver Broncos fan and set to getting Derek a Bronco gift. Andy Janovich is from Gretna Nebraska where She lives. She got Derek an autographed hat a picture. Derek's reaction was great...Donelle was actually more excited though.
This afternoon Derek and Donelle made a great apple crisp. Tonight we are going to enjoy Kevin and Marsha Symens house to watch the Super Bowl.
The normalcy of spending time with friends is such great medicine for all three of us, the best medicine actually.

How can you continue to help?

* Attend Comedy Fundraiser for Derek Gerlach at Boss' Comedy on February 9th.

*Attend the Waffle Feed and Silent Auction at Lutheran Church of Dell Rapids on March 3rd from 8:30 to 1:30.

*Buy a #fightDerekfight from 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, Pizza Ranch (Dell Rapids, SD), Bar X Bar Flandreau or Bread & Circus Sandwich Kitchen Sioux Falls for your #FightDerekFight wristband.

*You can donate at any Wells Fargo Bank and make a direct donation to the Derek Gerlach Charity Fund.

* Attend 13th Annual Sioux Falls St. Baldrick's on March 14th at Pizza Ranch (Fun Zone – Sioux Falls W 41st)

*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

*Give to Derek's St. Baldrick's Honored Kids & Families fund at www.stbaldricks.org/kids/fightDerekfight

*Donate to the Go Fund Me Account linked below.

*Prayers, Love and positive thoughts are always appreciated.

Derek, Donelle, and Shane
+ Read More
Quick Morning update 1/29/19

Please be smart and be careful out there today everyone. It's cold and it's nasty.
Hauling Derek to Sioux Falls today to stay with our friend Diane Pinkelman as he has a dental checkup at 3:30. After that it is going to be hibernation time until Thursday for him, Donelle and I even had some hesitancy about taking him out at all today, but both vehicles run good, we'll warm them up ahead of time for him and we both need to remember that we cannot bubble him.
He has stopped taking his appetite stimulant and is making calories every day on his own right now which is awesome. Main reason for this update is to highlight a number of businesses and events coming up. We are so lucky and blessed to have friends, family, business owners step up for us and help us that I want to make sure that you know about them. Besides those listed below I know there is a Poker Run being planned for this summer and a benefit concert as well. Donelle and I have adopted the mantra of "Shut Up and Show Up' when it comes to all of these. We are just so so thankful for all that is being done for us and one or all of us will be there when possible.
So please take the time to read the events below and support those highlighted businesses that take the time to support people in need like us.

How can you continue to help?

* Attend Comedy Fundraiser for Derek Gerlach at Boss' Comedy on February 9th.

*Attend the Upcoming (date to be announced) Waffle Feed and Silent Auction at Lutheran Church of Dell Rapids

*Buy a #fightDerekfight from 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, Pizza Ranch (Dell Rapids, SD), Bar X Bar Flandreau or Bread & Circus Sandwich Kitchen Sioux Falls for your #FightDerekFight wristband.

*You can donate at any Wells Fargo Bank and make a direct donation to the Derek Gerlach Charity Fund.

* Attend 13th Annual Sioux Falls St. Baldrick's on March 14th at Pizza Ranch (Fun Zone – Sioux Falls W 41st)

*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

*Give to Derek's St. Baldrick's Honored Kids & Families fund at www.stbaldricks.org/kids/fightDerekfight

*Donate to the Go Fund Me Account linked below.

*Prayers, Love and positive thoughts are always appreciated.

Derek, Donelle, and Shane
+ Read More
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$22,041 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 319 people in 3 months
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