Mankato community members chip in to help Dave Brave Heart

Dave Brave Heart was diagnosed with ALS in September 2021.
Published: Jul. 11, 2022 at 10:39 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Dave Brave Heart was diagnosed with ALS in September 2021. His motivation to live his life amid the adversity is bringing the community of Mankato together to help in any way they can.

“It means a whole lot to have the community come together. It wouldn’t be possible without them,” Brave Heart said.

Brave Heart has given endless amounts of love and dedication to the Greater Mankato Area through his efforts with the Mahkato annual traditional Pow-Wow.

Now that same community is willing to lend a hand when he needs it the most.

“We couldn’t see something like this happening, but it really shows how great of a place Mankato is and how fortunate we are to be here,” Dave’s wife, Sara Brave Heart, said.

With his ALS diagnosis continuing to worsen, those members are building Brave Heart a ramp and as he likes to call it his “man cave.”

“Maintain my safety, but also provide an opportunity to keep enjoying life,” Brave Heart said.

The extension of the house is going to be used as an entry space for a wheelchair lift.

It’s a full-circle moment for Randy Dinsmore, who is heading the expansion for Goodrich Construction. He has known the Bravehearts personally for years.

“Making that process more comfortable and accessible and feasible for the family is just huge in my opinion. I’m just glad that I could help them make a space for them to do that,” Dinsmore said.

The entire project has been at cost for Goodrich Construction, but they aren’t the only local company that has pitched in to help.

“Ward Brothers Construction, YohnCo Concrete, Lloyd Lumber, Lindsay Windows as they had mentioned before donated all the windows, Ploog Electric and Boelter Siding all participated, either gave or donated materials, services or offered reduced pricing,” Dinsmore said.

It isn’t just a project for the Brave Hearts, it’s a sign of respect from his Mahkato community.

“To look out over the yard that we re-landscaped last year before Dave’s diagnosis and safely get in and out of the house. It’s huge,” Sara Brave Heart said.

Although the diagnosis has taken pieces of Brave Heart’s life, it has not taken his sense of humor.

“I’m going to do some drifting on my electric wheelchair,” Brave Heart said.

And his determination to enjoy the time that he has left.

“I’m just trying to enjoy my family, you know, continue to make some good memories to the best we can,” Brave Heart added.

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