Here’s why this young mother, whose husband has ALS, hopes you’ll visit Dutch Bros. today

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IDAHO FALLS — When Mindy Rees heard Dutch Bros. Coffee was holding a special day for ALS awareness, she knew she had to participate.

Rees has been married to her husband, Wyatt, for over 12 years. They have four children and Wyatt, who will turn 35 in August, has been battling ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) for nearly five years. He can no longer speak, eat, walk, swallow, or move any muscles and is confined to his bed.

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“They give you 2-5 years to live so we are feeling completely blessed that he’s made it this long,” Rees tells EastIdahoNews.com. “He’s now on a ventilator 24-7 to help his oxygen levels and he doesn’t leave the house anymore so when I heard about ‘Drink One for Dane,’ I knew I had to do something.”

Dutch Bros. operator Tonya Thomason, EastIdahoNews.com reporter Nate Eaton and Mindy Rees outside the Dutch Bros. on 17th Street in Idaho Falls. | Rett Nelson, EastIdahoNews.com

On Friday, more than 330 Dutch Bros. locations in seven states, including those in Idaho Falls, will participate in the 13th annual ‘Drink One for Dane’ fundraiser. The company will donate proceeds from every drink sold to support MDA and families affected by ALS.

“It’s in honor of our co-founder Dane who passed away from ALS in 2009,” Idaho Falls Dutch Bros. operator Tonya Thomason says. “We do it all for him.”

Dutch Bros. opened its first location in Idaho Falls on Woodruff Avenue near Winco a little over a year ago. A second store was built on 17th Street in front of Shopko and there are plans for additional Dutch Bros. in the future.

Approximately 6,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year, according to the ALS Association Rocky Mountain Chapter. It is estimated that at least 16,000 Americans may be living with ALS at any given time.

“We’re not the only ones in eastern Idaho who have it,” Rees says. “It’s way more common than you think and this is my contribution to bring awareness to ALS. I hope everyone comes out and supports the cause.”

Dutch Bros. is open from 5 a.m. – 11 p.m. Donations are being accepted all day in-store and online by clicking here.

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