DeeDee Jonrowe may have scratched from the Iditarod, but she was still on the race route. 

Some of the checkpoints were pink with gifts her fans didn’t get to give -- like a headband in Nikolai and a sun catcher in Anvik. 

Her fans in Unalakleet had something even bigger in mind. A party to say "thank you" to the iconic musher whose place in the community dates back decades.

"You’re real. I hope I can say it well enough," Jonrowe told the crowd. "And all the people that come through are going to get a taste of it, cuz there’s nothing like it."

Jonrowe says her supporters are more than fans -- they’re family. While she may not be mushing right now, she’s still on a mission to empower others. 

"I don't want to retire and not be valuable," Jonrowe said. "I want my life to mean something to somebody."

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