Osage teen vows to dye hair for MS
Danika Larsen said a few years ago when her favorite uncle, Adam Pratt, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, it crushed her because heroes aren't supposed to get sick.
In May, 18-year-old Danika is participating in Walk MS in honor of her uncle. It will be held in the Park Rapids Elementary School,
"I didn't know we had MS in our family before," she said. "He has always been my hero. He was the strongest guy I knew ... It kind of shocked me to know he had that disease."
She read up on MS, but it didn't hit her until last year when he started showing the symptoms of the disease.
"He got hurt a lot more, and he's my hero and he's not supposed to get hurt. When he did get hurt, it was really upsetting."
Her mom walked in Walk MS previously, and is returning this year as part of Larsen's team -- Team Pratt. Her friend, Georgia Booker, will also be on the team of walkers.
"I wanted to do it this year, and I thought he'd like it. And he does," Larsen said of her uncle's support for the team. "He thinks it's fantastic."
Larsen's goal is to raise $400 for Walk MS, and she has some incentive for her donors. If she can raise the money by her birthday, April 25, she will dye her hair orange -- and keep it that way.
"My hair color will be permanent because the disease is permanent," she said.
She also plans to go to Fargo a couple times and "dress kind of crazy" to spread the word about MS, "and maybe people will give us donations."
Those interested in donating to Larsen and her cause can either send checks to her home address at 21525 470th Ave., Osage, MN 56570 or donate online at walkmnm.nationalmssociety.org and search for Team Pratt.