Zander Ulvestad is a resilient 5-year-old who is courageously battling Wilms tumor, a rare form of cancer that predominantly affects children. Zander, now in stage 4 of his fight, is undergoing an intensive 50-week chemotherapy regimen at Sanford’s Children’s Castle in Sioux Falls.

In a display of unwavering support and compassion, a local McDonald’s is rallying behind Zander and his family, crafting a care package that extends love, hope, and comfort to Zander, his 8-year-old brother Asher, and their parents, Josilyn (Joci) and Brian. The holiday season is a time of giving, and together, we aim to make a significant impact on the Ulvestad family’s journey.

Our involvement in this heartwarming initiative originated from the compassionate spirit of Pennie Malenke, the General Manager of McDonald’s in Brookings. Pennie, a true community champion, has a profound love for children, embodying a maternal instinct that extends to every child she encounters. 

Pennie and the team at McDonald’s have generously launched outreach and asked for donations for Zander Ulvestad. Pennie and the team at the Brookings store are committed to making a positive impact on the lives of those around them.

We invite you to join us in helping Zander and his family. As we come together to support the Ulvestads, we not only aim to bring joy and hope to their holiday season but also to remind them that they are not alone in their fight against cancer.

If you’re interested in contributing to the care package, you can contact Hart 2 Hart, local owners of the franchise, at 605-271-6003 or online at

Additionally, there is a Go-Fund-Me campaign to help offset the medical expenses faced by the Ulvestad family. The goal is to raise $15,000, and so far, they are close to $10,000. Your support can make a significant difference. To contribute, please visit the Go-Fund-Me page: Fundraiser for Josilyn Ulvestad by Laura Schwarz : Ulvestad Family Medical Expenses (

For media inquiries, interviews, or partnership opportunities, please feel free to reach out to me. I can connect you with Pennie Malenke, GM of the Brookings McDonald’s, and Zander’s family friend Laura Schwarz to share more.

Thank you for considering our request. Together, we can make a lasting difference in the lives of Zander and his family.