Saturday, Jan. 21: A special birthday gathering…and you’re invited

Posted on January 1, 2012

Kevin Grinde is having a birthday very soon — this Saturday (Jan. 21).

For Kevin, his wife Sara and their family, it will mark a most important milestone of life.

A longtime journalist and outdoorsman,  until late last year the managing editor of the Grand Forks Herald and, before that, its outdoors editor, Kevin is recovering from a liver transplant that took place at the Mayo complex in Rochester, Minn., in early November 2011.

The transplant was necessary to save his life. An immune deficiency diagnosed by doctors in 2010 had accelerated his liver’s deterioration and rapidly threatened his kidneys and other organs — so quickly that a scheduled testing appointment at Mayo quickly became an intensive care unit fight for his life. Thankfully, a healthy liver became available within days.

The road to recovery already has presented some challenges — physically, emotionally and financially — and will offer some more. He’s without a job for the first time in 26 years. He’s spent recent weeks taking multiple drug infusions daily to combat a virus that threatened to undo all the benefits his new liver provided. Kevin and Sara Grinde - Aug. 2010Like other transplant recipients, he’ll require a lifetime of medicines, notably a drug intended to prevent his body from rejecting his new liver.

Still, the self-titled Team Grinde — Kevin and Sara’s three adult daughters, Arin, Alexis and Aleah, and several grandchildren included — has faced all with a fighting spirit, contagious optimism and deepened faith.

Humor, too. “KG,” ever the fisherman, says he’s pleased to no longer resemble a “chartreuse Rapala.”

He’s eager to regain his strength and get back to good health. He’s enormously grateful simply to have the opportunity.

Kevin and Sara returned to their East Grand Forks home a few days before Christmas to continue this new journey that already has irrevocably altered their lives.

One gigantic stop along the way: A very special birthday celebration this Saturday, Jan. 21.

It’s from 4 to 8 p.m. that day at the Knights of Columbus in Grand Forks, featuring a free-will offering spaghetti dinner and a silent auction, with all proceeds going toward medical and general living expenses for Kevin and Sara.

Special benefit sponsors include the North Dakota Association for the Disabled (NDAD) and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. Their roles are helping to give the benefit a chance to succeed.

You can help, too. We invite you to join us Saturday.

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Categories: The Jan. 21 event

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