Brittany Dahl is one of the local residents who received help in her fight against cancer from Audrey’s Purple Dream.
This is the 18th year that Audrey’s Purple Dream, which was started by Shannah Pidde Geimer when her mom Audrey was battling cancer, is raising funds to help people in the area who have been diagnosed with cancer.
Most years, fundraising is done by people who collect pledges for jumping into 11th Crow Wing Lake and by participating in the fishing tournament. This year, due to unsafe ice conditions, the event is being held Saturday, Feb. 10 at the Red River Event Center in Akeley.
Dahl, who lives in Walker, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2022.
“My husband Keith’s friend told him about Audrey’s Purple Dream,” she said. “I wrote in, sharing my story, and they sent me a check. It was a pleasant surprise, oh, my gosh. It’s fantastic that they do this. I didn’t know that a small place in Akeley was doing such great things for people. It’s a cause that is worth donating to.”
The money helped Dahl with hospital bills not covered by insurance.
“After my first surgery, I was out of work for three months because of a nicked vocal cord,” she said. “At the time, I was working in assisted living and real estate. I couldn’t talk at all for six weeks, only whisper. I couldn’t move my neck. I sat in a chair most of the time. It was kind of depressing. Then they found a lot of lymph nodes that were cancerous, but I couldn’t have the second surgery until April 2023 until my vocal cord had healed. It still affects my voice and I talk differently now.”
Dahl went for followup check ups every six months after her surgeries.
“Everything is going good,” she said. “In October, I saw my thyroid cancer surgeon at Essentia in Duluth and only have to go every year now.”
She said she hopes she will be able to volunteer at this year’s Audrey’s Purple Dream.
“We Wish We Could Be Fishing,” is the theme of this year’s fundraiser. A silent auction will begin at 10 a.m. Feb. 10 and there will be games for children at noon.
From 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., there will be fishing prize drawings, plunge awards for those who raised the most pledges and “Paint the Town Purple” awards for those who decorated their houses with lights.
Button raffle drawings will be held at 6 p.m. The day will conclude with music by the local band “Nate’s Fish” from 8 p.m. to midnight.
Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.