Area honors those with ALS at Walk/Run event

The Border State Bank employees in Badger wore their “Team Kris” t-shirts on Friday, July 19 to show support to former coworker Kris Jenson, who is battling ALS. They are (L-R): Front: Sharla Kilen, Natali Anderson, and Christine Modahl; Back: Joyce Shimpa, Lynn Norberg, Whitley Aamodt, Barb Monsrud, Sharon Heggedal, and Sandy Duray; Missing: Deb Pries and Tamara Nelson. Some Border State Bank employees attended the ALS Walk/Run in Roseau on July 20 in Kris’ honor. (photo by Ryan Bergeron)

The Border State Bank employees in Greenbush wore their “Team Kris” t-shirts on Friday, July 19 to show support to former coworker Kris Jenson, who is battling ALS. Some Border State Bank employees attended the ALS Walk/Run in Roseau on July 20 in Kris’ honor. Kris and Father Don Braukmann were two of the event’s honorees. Those sporting their t-shirts are (L-R): Front: Emily Sorenson, Elaine Kapphahn, Stacey Dallager, Lisa Bergsnev, Allen Stauffenecker, and Lynette Gustafson; Back: Kristine Ingle, Kristi Evans, Joni Mooney, Jody Kirkeide, Nick Selvog, Jordan Creviston, and Lisa Careme. (photo by Ryan Bergeron)

Those showing support to Kris Jenson, who is battling ALS, at the annual “Make a Difference for ALS” Walk/Run event in Roseau on July 20 posed for a group photo. They are (L-R): Back: Tony and Julius (on shoulders) Jenson, Krista McLean, Tony McLean, Janita McLean, Joyce Shimpa, Lynn Norberg, and Sharon Heggedal; Front: Kierah and Janiya Jenson, Sharla Kilen, Alyssa Kilen, Natali Anderson, and Lynette Gustafson. (photo by Deb Pries)

The annual “Make a Difference for ALS” Walk/Run event was held Saturday, July 20 in Roseau. This marks the twentieth anniversary of this fundraiser, and over the past 20 years this ALS Committee has raised a remarkable amount of money for the fight against this disease, with this year’s event raising over $40,000 for the ALS Association. ALS – Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by the death of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord, resulting in the progressive wasting away of voluntary muscles. At this time, there is no known cure for the disease and an estimated 30,000 people in the US are living with ALS at any given time.

Border State Bank has proudly been a sponsor for the ALS Walk for many years, but this year the walk took on a more personal meaning as one of their former employees, Kris Jenson, was one of the Honoree’s of this event. A second Honoree was Father Don Braukmann, former priest serving Blessed Sacrament of Greenbush from 1996-2004, and most recently in Bemidji.

Father Don Braukman was diagnosed with ALS in December 2017, and traveled this ALS health journey with dignity and grace, which is documented in his speaking and his writings. Father Don sadly passed away July 18, 2019, just two days prior to this event. Many in our area are mourning this loss, but celebrating his life. His niece recently published a book compiling many of Father Don’s writings entitled “…and He Took Flesh.”

The event also recognizes those who have passed away from the disease in the Roseau County area, which includes Richard “Dick” Novacek. His team, led by son Neil Novacek, was the highest fundraiser for this year’s event. This cause has become very near and dear to Neil’s heart after watching his father’s battle.

Kris Jenson’s journey with ALS is one that started fairly recently. Over the past year and a half, Kris has been to various doctors and specialists with the hope of finding the root cause to many of her symptoms including speech impairment, muscle weakness, etc. In December 2018 due to her declining health, she retired from Border State Bank after being a loyal employee for over 25 years. In early 2019, a specialist diagnosed her with the life-altering disease – ALS. The last few months have included the start of an infusion treatment, and continued OT and PT therapy at her home near Badger.

Former Border State Bank supervisor Sharla Kilen states, “ Kris is one of the strongest and most dedicated women I know, and to see her health decline has been very tough, but we know she’s a fighter! We were humbled to be able to honor her and her family at the ALS event.”

Lynette Gustafson, another co-worker and attendee at the ALS Event shares, “Being here to honor Kris was an easy decision. Kris has always been a ‘real person’ for me – she works hard, cares deeply and doesn’t judge others. I have high respect for her and am so sad to witness good people be affected by a terrible disease.”

As a visual show of support, co-workers wore “Team Kris” t-shirts on Friday July 19 at Border State Bank in both Badger and Greenbush. These t-shirts are available for purchase, with proceeds going to Kris. There is a bonfire link that can be found on Facebook, or contact Sharla Kilen for details.

Friends are also working with the Lions group to plan an upcoming benefit, so be on the lookout for more details, and for other ways to help out Kris.
The words on the “Team Kris” t-shirts are Hope, Strength, Love and Support – Fighting ALS Together! Sharla states, “This is the message we want Kris to know – and anyone fighting this disease – that your friends and family are here to walk with you during this journey.”

One can also read this story in the July 24 issue of The Tribune in print or online.


  1. Linda Castleberry on January 8, 2020 at 8:31 am

    It’s a great pleasure to give a brief write up to the world about my experience with ALS Disease. I was working as an air-hostler ( cabby crew ) for 4 years but early last year, i lost my job to this horrible disease called ALS. I had almost all the horrible symptoms, slurred speech, muscle cramps and twitches,tripping, dropping,abnormal fatigue of the arms.i was so depressed was thinking of committing suicide. i made lots of researches until i got in contact with a herbal practitioner and a Neurologist doctor who uses his herbal medicine product called CLOMIC to reserve ALS disease. i was very curious and skeptical at first but had to contact him after sometime and he gave me his website of which i paid a visit to his website and i saw so many reviews, and made my orders from the site. to cut it short, i received the herbal product CLOMIC from Dr Jude and used it as instructed, i took it for 2 week. During the time of usage, all the symptoms stopped and i was able to do all things myself, since then till now, i have been reserved and given 3 years of reservation. Today, words are not enough to express how grateful i am to Dr Jude Robert. I just don’t know to explain this to the public. My local Dr was so amazed and decided to be in connection with the herbalist from USA. I went back to my work immediately after. I can tell to the public that am now a living testimony of his herbal medicine, may God continue to bless you Dr Jude for helping me regain my lost happiness. You that is out there looking for help you can as well visit his website . One thing I like most about Dr Jude, is honesty. He is very polite with his customers, everything he told me was what he did, and his herbal medicine are very affordable and very effective.

  2. Michelle Nelson on February 10, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    My first symptoms of ALS occurred in 2009, but was diagnosed in 2011. I had severe symptoms ranging from shortness of breath, balance problems, couldn’t walk without a walker or a power chair, i had difficulty swallowing and fatigue. I was given medications which helped but only for a short burst of time, then i decided to try alternative measures and began on ALS Formula treatment from Herbal Health Point, It has made a tremendous difference for me (Visit ww w. herbalhealthpoint. c om).  I had improved walking balance, increased appetite, muscle strength, improved eyesight and others.

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