OWATONNA, Minn. (KMSP) - A man from Owatonna, Minn. is selling hundreds of dolls, music boxes, and other personal collectibles to raise money for research and a cure for Alzheimer's disease. After 58 years of marriage, Jerry Erickson continues to be there for his wife.
It'd be great for Jerry to raise as much money as possible, but this is also about his continued faithfulness to his wife. For nearly a decade, 83-year-old Pat Erickson has lived with Alzheimer's, a disease that's slowly robbed her of her memories.
"The brain just doesn't work no more," Jerry said. "You know she got a little worse, then a little worse, then the body goes to hell after a while too."
He said over the years she's put together a massive collection of dolls, snow globes, and trinkets -- each one with a story his wife used to cherish. But now she's confined to a wheel chair and living in an assisted care facility, barely recognizing her husband's face, let alone those treasures from the past.
"She doesn't know they're here, no idea," Jerry said.
So Jerry decided now would be a good time to put it all up for auction, with all of the money going to the Alzheimer's Association Minnesota-North Dakota chapter, a local group focused on fundraising and bringing awareness to the disease.
In the next couple weeks, more than 700 items will be cataloged and photographed before hitting the online auction block, and everyone involved in this effort is doing it for free.
"I figure the least we could do is donate our time," Lucas Schuweiler said.
Schuweiler, with A Plus Online Auctions, is hoping to raise more than $20,000. The online auction begins on October 11. If you're interested in participating, click here.