Chris Lykken, founder and co-president of Chase’s Warrior Foundation, spent the first 24 years of his life in Grand Forks, ND. After attending University of North Dakota, majoring in Criminal Justice and double minor in Psychology and Sociology, he moved to the Twin Cities area to pursue a career as a directional boring specialist working with underground utilities. In 1998 he worked a sales manager for Circuit City and then Best Buy for 3 years. In the spring of 2000, he entered the information and technology field and he has been a computer broker since. Chris is currently employed as a broker with TC Systems. That same year he met his wife Lisa. They now reside in Prior Lake with their 3 children, Tanner, Ava and Chase. After all of the support his family had received following Chases accident on March 30, 2013, he felt compelled to give back. It was through this feeling of gratitude, coupled with a divine calling, that the idea of Chase’s Warriors was born. Chris, along with his wife and friends founded Chase’s Warrior Foundation June of 2015. Chris’s goal with this foundation is to help families in need, and give them support that they may otherwise be without.
“It all started a little shy of 2 1/2 years ago. We had been living in Chase’s room in the Rehab unit at Gillette’s for about 2 months. Taking turns commuting home to see Tanner and Ava, while the other spent the night with Chase. Every time I pulled into the neighborhood and rounded the second turn on Bobcat Trail – a vision would take over me… The vision of Chase, sitting forward on his yellow bike, the front twisted tire pointed right towards the house, his right knee up prepped for takeoff….. That 3-mile smile from ear to ear, hands gripped firm on the little bars, looking over his right shoulder, he was ready to thrust into action. When I pulled up next to him on the street, Bam!-his head started jockeying back and forth while his bike bobbed from side to side from the training wheels that were bouncing off the sidewalk. Those little legs moving faster than they were meant to… “I’m gonna beat ya dad! I’m gonna win!” his little voice screamed in delight……….
Seconds later, I pulled up to the quiet, empty driveway, I would once again realize this was just a distant memory, unlikely to happen again ……or was it?
I remember it as if it was yesterday. -The first time I saw Chaser on that Freedom Concepts bike at Gillette’s hospital…… I stepped past the guard station, looked down the hall, and there it was. Lisa was heading towards me pushing Chase on a bike. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Chase was sitting upright with his legs moving with the pedals. My little dude was riding a bike again! I had to to be part of this! After pushing him around the fourth floor for 30 minutes or so I told Lisa, “we have to get one of these!” So we asked one of his therapists where we could get this and if insurance paid for it. “No, insurance doesn’t cover it, and they are very expensive!” Well, it turns out they are Very expensive. The cost is much more than some extra spending cash. After meeting other families on Facebook all over the country in situations similar to ours, we found that most of their children were not fortunate enough to experience riding this incredible bike. Most did not know it exists. And then it hit me- I call it a divine intervention, you can call it a light bulb came on, whatever…….” What if we could raise some money and give these to other people in our situation?” Lisa and I chatted about it many times. If we could somehow raise money, we could share this life changing experience with other parents out there! We put the idea on hold to focus on our own situation.
A few months later we were introduced to another amazing product. A family we had recently met gave us an UpSee that they had purchased for their little guy-whom God had called home earlier than any of us, would have liked. (Thank you Mel, Derek and Angel Linc!) After seeing Chase walk again in the UpSee, I absolutely lost it! This tough guy was a complete puddle of tears. My little dude, who according to the experts would never leave the hospital, was walking around in my living room! That was it! It was time to stop these, “some day I wish” conversations and do something. This idea was not going to join the many “I wish I would have ….” ideas that litter my past. We were going to find a way to share this feeling of Hope with others in similar situations. We didn’t know what or how, but we knew God would take care of that part of it. It was on my birthday 2 years back that those household conversations took a definitive change in direction and became real. We proposed starting a foundation at dinner with our good friends, and on that night we all agreed to make a commitment to help give these life changing experiences to others. After months of research, emails, calls, hours of brainstorming and meetings, we were able to get a plan in place to solidify this adventure together. On July 17th we received our non-profit, 501(c)3 letter of certification. I want all of you to know how much we appreciate the support you have given Chase and our entire family throughout this journey. You also need to know that your support plays a very large part of this foundation coming about. You taught us how much people care. How kind words, gestures from a complete stranger can pick you up and motivate you. Fellow warriors you can take pride in knowing that your kind actions towards our family will multiply and we will pay it forward. We know how blessed we are, and that there are many people out there that have little or no support system. Lisa and I, along with our good friends on the board hope to change that……
In Honor of Chase Lykken, and motivated by all of You, I would like to introduce you to- Chase’s Warrior Foundation.”
Lisa Lykken, co-president of Chase’s Warrior Foundation, was born and raised in Bird Island, MN. She received a 2yr Fashion/Design degree from Willmar Vo-Tech. From there she went on to Mankato State to complete a 4yr Bachelor Degree in fashion. Following graduation in 1994, she moved to Twin Cities to work at Express for 12 years as a store manager, eventually taking over the visual department. In 2002, Lisa married co-president Chris Lykken and moved to Prior Lake where they currently reside along with their 3 children: Tanner, Ava, and Chase. She is now a stay at home CEO of the household and a full time care giver for Chase. Being a mother of a disabled son, Lisa has witnessed the stresses, struggles and needs that follow this type of accident. Her goals with this foundation are to provide helpful information along with financial support to comfort other families and make their journeys easier.
I am part of this foundation for many reasons. I have learned from family, friends, and countless strangers how much people really care. I have experienced how good it feels when they care, and realized how much I appreciated all of the generous help they gave. I know Chase has a long road to recovery, but in God’s time, he is going to make it there. I have experienced first hand how many different therapeutic devices can help this recovery and make it easier. I have also learned there are many children there are out there that want these devices, but unfortunately, insurance doesn’t cover most of them. In honor of Chase, I am excited to share my experiences in our journey to help others on theirs. If I can put a smile on someones face and make their life a little easier, any work I put into this is worth it. I know how blessed we are to have what we have, and I am thankful to God. My goal to is to pay it forward and help as many families as we can. God is Good!
Jeremy Drentlaw graduated from New Prague High School in 1995 and the University of St. Thomas in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing Management. He is currently is currently employed as a Senior Sales Consultant with Paychex. He is married to Anita and resides in Prior Lake with their two daughters Mikayla and Emily. He has been fortunate to witness Chase’s recovery from the beginning and is amazed by his continued progress. His hope is that through the assistance Chase’s Warrior Foundation provides, it will enable other individuals to be able to find the superhero in themselves as they recover from their own injuries.
My hope is that through the assistance CWF provides, it will enable other individuals to be able to find the superhero in themselves as they recover from their own injuries.
Anita (Vogel) Drentlaw holds the Secretary/Treasurer position for the Chase’s Warrior Foundation Board. She grew up in New Market, MN and graduated in 1996 from New Prague High School. She attended the University of St. Thomas and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting in 2000. She worked for 2 years as a CPA at McGladrey and Pullen, and then joined her family’s business, New Market Bank, in 2002 to oversee the operations department. Since 2002, she has held various positions at the bank including cashier, CFO and most recently became the President in 2014. She currently lives in Prior Lake, MN with her husband Jeremy and two daughters, Mikayla (11) and Emily (8). In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, scrapbooking, reading, volunteering at her children’s school and being involved with the Prior Lake-Savage Optimist Club.
Being part of CWF is important to me because of the personal connection I have had with the Lykken family. I would have never thought I would be on a foundation board to help kids with anoxic brain injuries and other special needs, but witnessing the tragic event on March 30, 2013 with Chase and the Lykken family has forever changed my and my family’s lives. It has been amazing to watch the outpouring of support by the local and not-so-local community for this one family. I think having a foundation that can assist others with physical disabilities by providing adaptive equipment passes along that same amazing support to families that may not have such a wide network of supporters.
Dan Stein is a member of the Board of Directors for Chase’s Warrior Foundation. Dan grew up in Winona, MN and graduated in 1991 from Winona Sr. High School. He attended Winona State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance in 1996 along with minors in Economics and Business Administration. While at Winona State, Dan was a wide receiver for WSU’s football team and also a member of the Student Senate. He has worked in the surety bonding industry for the past 18 years in positions of progressively increasing responsibility. Dan currently works for WA Insurance Group as a risk advisor. He currently lives in Prior Lake, MN with his wife Lana and two daughters, Isabella (12) and Sophia (10). In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, attending his daughter’s basketball and volleyball games, golfing, fishing and being involved with the Prior Lake-Savage Optimist Club.
There are many reasons why I joined Chase’s Warrior Foundation. Some of the most important are to honor the fighting spirit of Chase Lykken and to pay forward the incredible generosity, love and support that was, and continues to be, bestowed upon Chase and his family by friends, family and complete strangers.
I also work for the foundation simply because I think we all should do our part to help others when possible. It’s the right thing to do and sets a good example for our own children so they hopefully grow up with a generous and giving heart and become the next generation of Chase’s Warriors!
Lana Stein is a member of the Board of Directors for Chase’s Warrior Foundation. She grew up in Decorah, Iowa and graduated with her Bachelors of Nursing degree from the University of North Dakota. She has worked in a many different areas including the surgical intensive care unit, post-anesthesia care unit, pre-operative unit and the emergency room. Currently the Stroke Program Coordinator at United Hospital in St. Paul, MN, nursing has been more than a career. It has been a passion for nearly 20 years now. Through this rewarding profession, many lives and stories have touched her heart. However, none have been as impactful as Chase’s story. Through this foundation, she hopes to spread education on anoxic brain injuries and provide hope for those affected. Lana lives in Prior Lake, MN with her husband Dan and their two daughters, Isabella and Sophia.
As a nurse, I have seen many families go through unimaginable situations. It is during these most difficult times that we become aware of family dynamics. Often times the stress can tear a family apart. The Lykken family is the exception to that norm. Thanks to their deep love and commitment to each other, their families, and God, I have watched their connection grow even deeper. It has been a privilege to witness this firsthand. It is my hope that providing adaptive equipment to other families in need will ease the stress in their lives while promoting independence to children with disabilities.
Brian Hennen holds a position on the Board of Director’s for Chase’s Warrior Foundation. In 1997, he graduated from St. Cloud State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree. He is currently employed by Ameriprise Financial. Previously, Brian worked for NorthMarq Capital, A Pohlad Family Company for 13 years as a Real Estate Investment Banker. A native of Prior Lake, MN he is married to Amy and they have three children: Casey (11), Courtney (9) and Chloe (7).
I joined Chase’s Warrior Foundation to bring awareness of the opportunities available to children with special needs. Through Chase’s recovery we have been able to see how the adaptive equipment available can not only support the child using the equipment but also for the surrounding family and caregivers. The equipment we can provide gives medical, physical and social benefits.
Amy Hennen holds a position on the Board of Director’s in Chase’s Warrior Foundation. She graduated from the College of St. Catherine in Minneapolis, MN in 1996. She has been involved in the healthcare industry since 1996 as a Physical Therapist Assistant. She is currently employed on a contract basis with Centrex Rehab, Presbyterian Homes, and the St. Benedictine Health System. Amy also spent time in 2015 as a Para Professional in the Prior Lake School District.
My name is Amy Hennen. I am honored to be a part of Chase’s Warriors. I became involved in the organization because I was there when Chase’s accident happened. I have seen him and his family fight and persevere through his injuries. I had a brother with special needs and I know how important it was for him to be able to do anything that he wanted to, no matter what it was.
Being a part of Chase’s Warrior Foundation has enabled me to make a difference in the lives of children with special needs, and their families, by allowing them to enjoy life and the things it has to offer. Whether using an adaptive bike for family bike rides or another piece of adaptive equipment, which allows them the comfort and ability to enjoy life a little more. Being a part of this great organization has not only changed the lives of the families we are helping, but it has changed mine as well.