Crookston High School graduate Brent Blake is on a lengthy road to recovery after undergoing surgery for a stage IV brain tumor. Blake, who is 50-years-old and currently lives in Detroit Lakes, is the son of former Crookston residents Percy and Colleen Blake, who live in Grand Forks.
In early August, Brent was on his way to a golf tournament in Oakes, North Dakota when he started experiencing a medical episode. It started with blurred vision, and once he got to Oakes, his speech was slurred. Eventually, he was transported to Fargo via ambulance. Just two days later, on August 6, Blake had surgery to remove a stage IV Glioblastoma brain tumor the size of a golf ball. Now, he has months of treatment ahead.
Ruth Cameron has been a friend of the Blake family for over 30 years. After reaching out to Percy and Colleen, she opened an account at American Federal Bank in Crookston on September 14. It’s an account that people can freely donate to on Brent’s behalf. “We know (Brent) has a long road ahead of him,” Cameron said. “It is stage IV. We just thought we would reach out and try to help, because he probably won’t be working for a while, and he has a 13-year-old at home. He’s doing both chemotherapy and radiation right now, so he’s getting double the dose for the first 30 days, and then six months of chemo after that. Then, he’ll do testing and see what’s next.”
Cameron said the account will be open for at least another month, and she’s optimistic that whatever is raised will make a significant impact. “It’s an account that can stay open. It’s not an account that will close. It’s different than a GoFundMe. It’s a checking account that’s open at (American Federal) bank. It’s been good. The money is coming in. I talked to Bill Anderson at American Federal and he said it’s coming in, and we hope more does come in.”
Brent is also a youth hockey coach in Detroit Lakes. Cameron says the team and community there are also helping in any way they can. “Brent is the (Detroit Lakes) youth hockey coach and also his daughter Brooklyn’s coach,” Cameron said. “Brooklyn and Brent are very close. Brent is very well-liked by the team and parents. In fact, three sets of parents are trying to get some kind of benefit going there.”
After the first two weeks of treatment, Cameron said that Brent is holding up well so far. There’s a long road ahead still, but Cameron is happy to see people in the community lending a hand for a family friend in need. “People are good, and this will be good. We just hope that Brent gets healthy, and that’s the main thing. So far, he’s handling the chemo and radiation good. He hasn’t gotten sick, and it seems like it’s going pretty good, so that’s wonderful.”
Donations for Brent Blake can be dropped off at American Federal Bank in Crookston, or mailed to –
American Federal Bank
C/O Brent Blake Fund
304 North Broadway
Crookston, MN 56716