Nora Frank relies on Sanford Children's Therapies to help with her physical and cognitive development.

Meet Nora Frank, 2021 GABR Star

May 7, 2021

Nora Frank loves music. The 5-year-old struggles to talk and walk, but that doesn’t stop her from humming, singing and bringing joy to others.

“She’s feisty and music is her passion,” Nora’s dad, Jeff Frank, told us. “She’s just very musically inclined and that’s where you can really see her personality and intelligence come out.

“Even though she can’t do a lot of things that the average person can do, she does things that no one else can do. She has an ability to make people feel really good about themselves.”

Watch her story


Nora is a miracle

Nora and her family have been on a rollercoaster ride since she was born at just 25 weeks gestation. Her premature birth led to 100 days in the NICU, and Nora suffered a brain bleed.

The brain damage limits her movement, especially on her right side, and led to a diagnosis of cerebral palsy. Hitting milestones like rolling over and holding up her head were a challenge.

Nora has made incredible strides in the last few years with treatment at Sanford Children’s Therapy in Bismarck, North Dakota, and assistance from the Great American Bike Race (GABR).

“GABR has helped us immensely,” Jeff said. “The thing I always tell people is 100% of that money goes to families in need, just like my family.”

With support from GABR, the family was able to modify their vehicle to be handicap accessible and add a covered addition to their home, connecting it with their previously detached garage. The modification has reduced Nora’s time spent outside during the winter and helps keep her healthy and out of the hospital.

GABR funds have also helped Nora get the physical, occupational and speech therapy she needs to thrive. Nora and her family live in Hazen, North Dakota, and travel nearly 150 miles round trip twice a week for therapy. The family has received assistance for transportation, therapy and other costs not covered by insurance.

“They have her walking on a treadmill where she’s taking steps and even moving her right foot with therapy,” Jeff said. “We just can’t thank her therapists enough. They’ve really done a lot for her.”

New this year, GABR funding will also be available to support programs and services at Sanford Children’s Therapies. Now, not only can families apply for and receive funding, but they can also see the benefits of GABR in the therapies their loved ones receive.

“Without, Nora would be far less mobile and maybe still be in a vegetative state,” Jeff said. “The gals here at Sanford, they’ve blown us away. What they do is just amazing. It’s very important to keep the cutting-edge technology, so kids like Nora can keep progressing and reach their goals.”

While Nora’s aversion to loud sounds keeps her at home during the GABR event, her family is so proud to honor her as one of this year’s GABR Stars.

“Having Nora be the GABR Star this year means the world to us,” Jeff said. “It’s amazing and we are so tearful and joyful mainly because we get to show people all of her talents. She gets to be showcased for all of her strengths.”


Help Nora continue to reach for the stars!

Join us for the 25th annual GABR Aug. 28 at the Bismarck Event Center.

4 ways to get involved:

  • Register for our in-person event and ride in our stationary bike race Aug. 28.
  • Sign up as a virtual participant and join the fun from anywhere.
  • Donate to directly support kids like Nora.
  • Volunteer and get behind-the-scenes access at our in-person event.