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April 17, 2014 10:00 PM

Redfield Man Thankful For Farm Rescue And Other Help

Redfield, SD

It's spring planting time and that means we'll also see Farm Rescue making its way through the state.

The non-profit helps family farmers who've faced tragedy. They'll be near Redfield in the coming days.

A thankful farmer says a helping hand means more to him with each day that passes. The trip to the breakfast table is nothing like it used to be for Roald and Irene Amundson.

"I really love her, you know. I still love her a lot. I've loved her all my life," Roald said. "It's getting a little tougher to see her just fade away."

Doctors diagnosed Irene with Alzheimer’s more than a decade ago. Roald says her condition has become worse to the point where he's helping her with every part of everyday life.

He carries her from one place to another in their home. He wants to be the one caring for his wife of more than 50 years.

"I can sneak away for an hour or so but I just hate to leave my wife alone for any amount of time," Roald said.

So for the past few years, when farm work needed to be done, he usually hired someone. This year, Farm Rescue is coming for spring planting.

"Really one of the kindest things that could have happened to me,” Roald said. “To help me out like that, it's just remarkable. I can spend more time with her and care for her better and don't have to worry about her."

The help won't make every challenge the Amundsons face disappear. But it will, Roald says, allow him to continue doing something he's enjoyed over the past 52 years, spend time alongside his wife.

"You give up a lot of stuff by taking care of Irene, but in the long run you find what you've given up is sometimes not worth a hill of beans anyway," Roald said.

That's just one lesson he's still learning from his wife today. When he watches Farm Rescue equipment roll onto his property, he says, it'll add to the gratitude he feels toward neighbors and friends who've already helped in so many ways.

"It's good to see that people still have a kind heart and kind actions," Roald said. "The thought and kindness of doing things really means so much more today."

Amundson expects Farm Rescue either this weekend or next week. He says Irene used to help him, but it reached a point where she'd get lost driving out to the field to meet him.

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