Winter usually finds Jen Sullivan at her son’s hockey games, cheering the team on.
Or doing mother-daughter things with her young teenager. Or spending time with her husband, Shawn.
Not this winter.
Jen is battling stage 4 breast cancer.
The Grand Forks resident, who is 34, started chemotherapy treatments at Altru Cancer Center in October 2012 and continues those treatments today. The treatments began as an IV solution, combined with a pill and an injection, and the doctors have stayed with the same course of treatment.
The chemo treatments deplete her white blood cell count, which leave her very tired and prone to infections. She receives injections to boost her blood count, as getting an infection in her condition could be very serious. Jen is receiving physical therapy at Altru Rehabilitation Hospital and has reached several milestones, according to her family. The therapists have been able to help her become more mobile, and Jen is working very hard at becoming stronger still.
Most recently, Jen worked for about nine years as operations coordinator at Noridian Administrative Services in Grand Forks. Her earlier work history included several years as a secretary-receptionist at Advanced Chiropractic.
Jen Anderson, who is from East Grand Forks, Minn., and Shawn Sullivan, who is from Grand Forks, were high school sweethearts. They married in 1998. Their daughter, Kacey, is 14, and their son, Aaron, is 11.
As a family, they enjoy hockey, camping and fishing. The past few years, the Sullivans have gone to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for family vacations.
Jen’s positive attitude “shows how the support of family and friends goes a long way to learning how to take life one day at time,” said Brenda Bruse, a friend of Jen who is helping to organize a benefit on Jen’s behalf.
The Jen Anderson Sullivan benefit will be held Saturday, Feb. 9, from 3 to 8 p.m. at the Eagles Club, 227 10th St. N.W., in East Grand Forks.
The benefit will feature a taco-in-a-bag meal, plus a silent auction and bake sale. A free-will donation is suggested for this family event, which includes games for kids, with Kacey and Aaron Sullivan serving as the games’ hosts.
The total of all proceeds from the Jen Sullivan benefit will help defray Jen’s medical needs and essential day-to-day expenses for her and her family. Charitable nonprofit NDAD is sponsoring the event and will serve as benefit fund custodian through its Community Fundraisers program.
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans also is a sponsor. For every $3 raised in the Sullivan fundraiser, Thrivent will provide $1, up to a maximum of $1,000.
If you’re unable to attend the benefit, there are other ways you can help:
- Donate online, using your credit card, at http://www.ndad.org/fundraisers.asp. Click on the “Give Online” button that accompanies the Sullivan article and family photo.
- Mail a donation to: NDAD, c/o Jen Anderson Sullivan Fundraiser, 2660 S. Columbia Road, Grand Forks, N.D. 58201, or drop off your check at that address between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, excluding holidays. Please make your check payable to: NDAD / Jen Anderson Sullivan.
- Share this information with friends, family members and others who may want to help via email, Areavoices, Facebook, Twitter or other social networking means.
Learn more about NDAD’s Community Fundraiser program by reading the information below; by visiting NDAD’s Grand Forks, Fargo, Minot or Williston office; or by calling our main office at toll-free (800) 532-NDAD (-6323).
About NDAD Community Fundraisers
If you have ever considered organizing a fundraiser for someone dealing with a disability or other serious health challenge, know that help is available.
It comes in the form of NDAD’s Community Fundraiser program. And it’s free.
NDAD, a charitable nonprofit, acts as custodian of the funds that are raised. Funds can be used to help the individual with medical and other urgent needs and expenses. This can include help covering doctor, clinic or hospital bills, paying pre-existing bills; health insurance premiums. It also can be used for essential, non-medical day-to-day general living expenses.
The total of all funds raised – 100 percent — are spent on the client’s needs. It’s a service NDAD has provided across North Dakota for the majority of its 37 years. References are available.
The program benefits come in other forms, too:
* NDAD is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, meaning any funds donated to NDAD in the fund drive recipient’s name qualify as a charitable donation and are deductible for donors who itemize. Funds donated to bank accounts that are not under federal 501(c)(3) statuses are not deductible donations.
* Donations directly to a needy individual may cause that person to lose eligibility for various public assistance programs that are based on income. With NDAD serving as fund custodian, the funds raised should not affect eligibility for public programs.
* NDAD allows the client to use the bank of his or her choice to hold all funds that are raised. NDAD tracks all funds raised and expenses paid. The client, family member or representative can bring in the donation, and NDAD will provide the necessary accounting functions.
* Approved bills must be submitted to NDAD, where they will be paid with donated funds — a service that can be of great relief to individuals or families dealing with overwhelming situations. If clients are at medical facilities out of town for long periods of time, it also can be a great convenience.
* NDAD’s long reputable service in North Dakota may be a factor when potential donors consider whether to contribute to a fundraiser. In addition to NDAD’s safeguards for fund use, each fund withdraw must be authorized by a fund drive chairperson.
Also, NDAD provides marketing and consulting expertise to help with fundraisers, including creation and copying of fliers, letters or other publicity that can help contribute to a fund drive’s success.
NDAD’s Community Fundraisers has helped many in need, and it can help someone you know. Learn more by calling (701) 775-5577 or toll free 1 (800) 532-NDAD. Learn about other recent NDAD-sponsored fundraisers at http://www.NDAD.org/fundraisers.asp.