Pray for Gray is Providing Hope and Support

Written by: Brady Drake

Pray for Gray, North Dakota’s only 501(c)(3) nonprofit brain tumor organization, was founded by local brain tumor survivor Julie Fletcher in 2007. Since then, the organization has worked to raise awareness of brain tumors themselves, educate local communities, create connections for those battling, and raise funds to help meet the needs of brain tumor patients and their families.

That’s an organization worth some publicity.

We spoke with Candice Ahmann, a member of the Board of Directors who lost her husband to a brain tumor four years ago, to learn more about how Pray for Gray makes an impact.

Q & A

What is Pray for Gray?

Pray for Gray is the only 501(c)(3) in the state of North Dakota that supports individuals with brain tumors. We have a really good executive director now so we’re really trying to grow. We support a tri-state area (North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota). A big part of our fundraising is used to help individuals or families who are going through what they’re going through. We help them financially, but we also become a kind of family that you don’t necessarily want to be a part of, but there are such good people who are a part of it.

We also provide other resources for people as well because when someone gets a brain tumor diagnosis, everything happens super fast. A lot of times, after the diagnosis, people are having brain surgery within a week or two. It’s pretty overwhelming for a lot of patients and their families.

There can be a lot of shock for people when they get a diagnosis. They can feel like their life is flashing before their eyes—especially if they start reading statistics online. There is a lot of fear but there can also be a lot of isolation because there are not as many people who know about these diagnoses. When my husband was diagnosed, he was pretty young to just have cancer in general, but people would come up to him and tell him things like how their grandmother had had breast cancer and was doing just fine. Those statements didn’t help him feel better. He didn’t feel like anyone knew what he was going through.

We also donate money to research and other nonprofits. This past year, we donated money to two different camps. There’s one camp in particular, in the state of Minnesota, that my son went to last year, that is for kids who have had a parent, caregiver, or someone close to them who has had cancer. It’s a place for kids to go to meet other kids who know what they’ve gone through. The other camp is, I believe, through Sanford. One of our board member’s child has gone there. That camp is for kids who do have cancer.

There are nurses and staff there to help take care them. There are a lot of people who need support. Every time I think I could step away from this organization, I hear about someone else going through a cancer battle of their own. It’s not a thing that people like to talk about. We try to be that light or hope for families if we can be.

What impact have you seen the organization have on people?

We help them out financially because in addition to the costs that come with treatment and the diagnosis, oftentimes their caregivers need to take time off from work. There are also often travel expenses involved.

We also try to be a source for them. Sometimes it feels good for people to just talk it out. We can help them slow things down because people commonly think they need to start making all these drastic changes like selling their house. They need to know that there are options and things don’t need to happen right away.

I’ve also had people reach out to me about the aftermath. So, after someone has surgery, it’s almost like a brain injury. We can help put people in touch with good sources for physical therapy for those sorts of things.


“Pray for Gray has made a significant impact on not only our journey, but on our family & lives. They’ve graciously given our family gifts of support, wisdom, strength, hope, empathy, love, & a sense of community without hesitation. Pray For Gray does a fantastic job advocating for those with brain tumors/cancer. There is nothing quite like the Pray for Gray Community!”

Grant & Lindsey Wosick, Addison’s Parents

What else should people know?

One of the things that people don’t know about is that cancer is the leading cause of death for children. So, it’s not isolated to a certain age range. One of our old board member’s daughter was diagnosed with a tumor when she was an infant.

More research needs to be done. People need to be supported.

How can people help Pray for Gray?

Check us out on our website and social media. Encourage people to reach out to us if they need help.

We have different events we do out throughout the year that are pretty fun. We do golf tournaments, we have a 5K race, we do a gala, and we actually have a scooter run. We take scooters or motorcycles and ride through town, go to the racetrack, and then they race and you can take a ride with the racers. So we do a lot of fun events throughout the year that people can come to, support, and get to know our organization in our community.

Upcoming Pray for Gray Events

15th Annual Pray for Gray Gala 2024

May 10 at 5:30 p.m.
Avalon Events Center
2525 9th Ave S, Fargo

Join in for the 15th Annual Pray For Gray Gala! You must purchase tickets in order to attend. Head to prayforgray.com/event/pray-forgray-gala/


Annual Pray For Gray Golf Tournament

July 29
Moorhead Country Club
2101 N River Dr, Moorhead

More information coming soon!


Pray For Gray 5K Run/Walk

September 14
Atonement Lutheran Church
4601 S University Dr, Fargo

More information coming soon!

Support Pray for Gray

prayforgray.com
Facebook | /PrayForGray
Instagram | @prayforgraynd

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Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.