Alumni in the News

Mrs. Jerusha A. Daines – B.S., Marketing Education, 1995

Herald Journal

A Family Night and Fun Run extravaganza will take place Monday night to help raise funds for a local who is facing a tough race of her own. Jerusha Daines was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension three years ago and is waiting for the lung that could save her life. Julie Keele, her sister-in-law, said this has been a learning experience for the whole family. “It’s been hard, of course, because it’s not something you want to see anyone go through,” she said. “It’s a humbling experience for the whole family. Pulmonary hypertension is a type of high blood pressure that affects the lungs and right side of the heart. It is a serious illness that gets progressively worse and can be fatal. JoAnna Sorensen, the founder of the Northern Exposure Running Club, is helping put this event together. It’s a collaborative effort, she said, from many members of the community. “I wanted it to be a little different than your typical fun run,” she said. “It’s amazing how this has come together.” There will be prizes and contests, a bouncy house, horse rides, vendor booths, a live band and many more activities for the whole family. The course for the 5K is a secret, she said. There are several options for the run: $10 to run the full course as a regular 5K, or people can use a pedometer to count the number of steps they take during the 5K and pledge to donate the money from the steps they take. The number of steps will be divided by three, the number of steps the average runner takes during one breath. “We’re trying to educate people about pulmonary hypertension and about how important running can be for your health,” Sorensen said. This is a good cause, she said, where the community can help someone in need. Even those who don’t want to participate in the fun run can come buy a shirt or enjoy the many other activities that are scheduled, she said. “Many people want to help so badly when things like this happen, but they don’t know how,” she said. “There are so many ways that people can give.” Keele said the love and support from the community has been such a help to Jerusha and all the family. The majority of the family will attend the event, she said, and they’re excited to be able to thank the community for all they’ve done. “The outpouring of people who are willing to donate their time and talents to help out is amazing,” she said. Though Jerusha will be unable to attend the festivities, she posted a picture of herself standing for the first time in more than a month and offered a few words for her supporters. “I am hanging in there waiting for the next step. I stood today with a walker, an amazing feeling to feel your toes on the floor. Tears flowed — a simple thing that I haven’t been able to enjoy.” As Keele read these words from Jerusha, she started to get a little choked up. “She’s kept a pretty good attitude for having to be in the hospital day in and day out, connected to a bunch of cords,” she said. “She’s never complained.”