Community steps up to support Alex Braulick and his family
As parents of four busy boys, Lacey and Dan Braulick are like other parents—they love their boys, enjoy all the activities, and couldn't imagine how they would handle it if anything bad ever happened to their family. That changed this spring when they found out their youngest son Alex had cancer. They all learned to handle it a day at a time with love and support from their extended family, friends and community members.
Lacey has been sharing little Alex's story on CaringBridge with periodic journal entries as Alex has been receiving treatment at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis. She shares the ups and downs and their appreciation for the medical professionals, from here in Sleepy Eye, to those all those at Children's who are helping their family during this time. Find Alex's story at https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/alexbraulick/journal.
Lacey provided a summary of their experience for this article: "Alex is a 2 1/2-year-old sweet little boy. He was diagnosed in early May with B-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. Alex has some additional risks factors, but we are hopeful for a positive outcome. We are four months into a two-year treatment as of now. Alex has three older brothers (Adam, Blake and Brandon) who definitely keep him going. This is something we never thought we would be encountering but we need to have faith in God and believe He will get us through this."
Lacey said that at first she and Dan were reluctant about letting anyone help them out. "We thought we could do it on our own," she said. "As time went on, we became more receptive because people just truly wanted to help in any way that they could."
"Deb Huhn, CPR/First Aid Instructor, a good friend and past client of mine, was working with my mom trying to help get some of the daycare providers a class to renew their certifications," explained Lacey. "Deb has provided classes in the past for some of the providers around the area. She decided to open the class up to the public to let others take it if they would like. She was so kind-hearted to give all the proceeds [class fees] to Alex and our family." This event was held on Sept. 8 at the Sleepy Eye Event Center.
And while Huhn was offering her assistance another group was also thinking of Alex. The committee organizing an annual ATV benefit run heard about Alex's story and asked the Braulicks if they could honor him this year. According to Lacey, they choose a family or an organization each year to help raise money for different situations. The ATV run, held on Saturday, Sept. 11, originated at The Ridin' High Saloon in Cobden where there was also an auction and meal.
"We were unable to attend the benefit due to Alex needing to start his next phase of treatments," said Lacey. "It was an amazing turnout with a lot of people on ATVs, motorcycles, 4-wheelers, and vehicles. There were 390 people registered for the event and 465 were served for the evening meal by Joni's Restaurant & Catering."
Lacey said a small group of their close friends organized silent and live auctions for the day, collecting donations from numerous people and local businesses from the surrounding area. They also created and sold Team Alex t-shirts.
"Team Alex was a great success!," said Lacey. "Dan and I would just like to give a special 'Thanks' to the ATV Group for putting on this benefit, Joni's Restaurant & Catering for the food, and The Ridin' High Saloon for hosting the run and the Long Branch Saloon, The Depot, Backroads Bar & Grill, and Broken Spoke Saloon for allowing everyone to stop throughout the day.
"Thanks to Glen Berkner for doing the live auction. A special thanks to the businesses and all who donated items for the silent auction. To our friends and family for organizing the silent auction and making this happen. We are completely overwhelmed with all the love and support our community has given to us. The people who came from near and far to the benefit run supporting us through this difficult journey is Unbelievable! To those of you who sent cards, gifts, monetary donations, and ordered T-shirts we can't thank all of you enough. We are truly blessed! Lastly, thanks to all the people who made this benefit possible. All the time that has been spent planning and organizing is so appreciated. Also, we would like to say a special thanks to Deb Huhn for putting on the CPR/First Aid Class and thank you to all of you who attended the class.
"Both of these events had an amazing turnout! This small town of Sleepy Eye sure is a great community that has shown us so much love and support."
There is another local event that will provide support for Alex—Dungeon’s Gym's 2021 Nightmare On Main Street 5K Run & Fitness Walk on Oct. 23. Owner Brent Mielke posted on the Facebook page that costumes are encouraged and Sleepy Eye Coffee Company will give a free cookie for the kids and a special drink to all in costume after the race. Check out his Facebook page for registration information—early registration ends Oct. 1.